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Chapter 14: Writing E-mail, Memos, and Proposals November 7, 2010

Filed under: PRCA 3330,Reading Notes — amberlaurin @ 4:33 pm

Chapter 14: Writing E-mail, Memos, and Proposals

The challenge of Managing Communication Overload

  • Completeness.  Whether you are writing a 10-line memo or a 32-page annual report, you must be certain that it contains the information needed to serve its purpose.
  • Conciseness. Less is better.  Conciseness means brevity. Your objective is to be as brief as possible, because people don’t have the time or the patience to read through long messages.
  • Correctness.  you must be accurate in everything you write.
  • Courtesy. There are personal communications.  Personal names are used extensively, and both senders and receivers have considerable interest in the material.

Responsibility.  Be prudent and think about how your communication will be perceived by the recipient.  A letter or e-mail is highly visible record of what you say, so be careful about setting the right tone.


Purpose: According to a survey of communicators in Fortune 500 corporations, e-mail (1) reduces the cost of employee communications (2) increases the distribution of messages to more employees, (3) flattens the corporate hierarchy, and (4) speeds decision making.


Purpose: A memo can serve almost any communication purpose.  It can ask for information, supply information, confirm a verbal exchange, ask for a meeting, schedule or cancel a meeting, remind, report, praise, caution, state a policy, or perform any other function that requires a written message.


Purpose: A letter may be used to give information, to ask for information, to motivate, to answer complaints, to soothe or arouse, to warn, to admit, or to deny.  It is a substitute for personal conversation, although it is not as friendly as face-to-face conversation.


Purpose: The purpose of a proposal is to get something accomplished– to persuade management to approve and authorize some important action that will have a long-lasting effect on an organization or its people.  By putting it in writing, you let management know exactly what is proposed, what decisions are called for, and what the consequences may be. 

All information in this post can be found in Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques 6th Edition


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