E-mails, memos and letters: fundamentals of business communication (2023)

Veneza Williams

learning goals

  • Identify the characteristics of effective professional email.
  • Discuss new patterns of netiquette on social media used for professional purposes.
  • Discuss the purpose and format of a memo.
  • Understand effective business memo strategies.
  • Describe the different parts of a standard business letter.

E-mail, SMS, memos and business letters are part of our communication landscape and experienced business communicators find them a valuable tool for making contacts.Netiquetterefers to etiquette or communication protocols and standards on the Internet.


Electronic mail, commonly known as "email," is the most popular written communication channel in the history of human civilization. Since email is so cheap and easy to send on desktop and laptop computers, as well as mobile phones and tablets, it's a staggering 280billionE-mails are sent from worldwideis(rooted, 2017)- that's over a hundred trillion a year. Most are intended for business purposes, as email is such a flexible channel, ideal for everything from short, routine exchanges of information, text-length inquiries and responses, to important formal messages that provide the substance that letters and memos used to be have to process. Its ability to send a message to one person or as many people as you have addresses, integrate with calendars to schedule meetings and events, send document attachments, and send automatic replies makes it the most versatile communication channel in the workplace.

However, that staggering 3.2 million emails being sent per second doesn't necessarily mean that quality isn't an issue for email. Since it has partially replaced letters in formal correspondence, e-mails on important occasions such as applying for and retaining a job must be immaculately well-written. Your email represents you in your physical absence as well as the company you work for, if any, so it should be well-written and appropriate.

First, make sure you really need an email to represent you, because sending an email just to avoid a face-to-face conversation or a call on the phone can do more harm than good. However, if email is required, it must beBoa🇧🇷 As the people who make decisions about your livelihood, the employers and clients you email can be very judgmental about the quality of your writing. To them, it's an indication of your professionalism, attention to detail, courtesy, and even intelligence. The quality of writing in a single important email can mean the difference between hiring and firing or unemployment.

For example, let's say you get an email from a customer and they mention that they're looking for a company to do custom orders for them. This means they email other companies with the same question. Let's also assume that your competitors offer similar services at similar prices and are rated positively online. Other things being equal, the quality of email replies can be the deciding factor. Responding quickly to the customer gives you an advantage because you show them that you can get things done quickly. If your email is also well-written, in a professional style, and error-free in every respect through effective editing and proofreading, then you have a much better chance of getting the job.

Comparing this to an email from another company that arrived a few days later with multiple typos, the customer will likely go to the company that wrote the best email. Even though the quality of communication doesn't necessarily guarantee the quality of work on a company's product or service, customers assume a connection. In fact, the quality of communication can certainly say a lot about work ethic and attention to detail. We should all try to make an equally strong impression in any situation where email quality matters. Figure 6.1 shows a standard email.

An: h.adamo@xyzcorporation.ca

Von: m.vargas@maxim.ca

Topic: construction interruptions

Dear Harriet,

I know that employees of Evergreen Corp. are looking forward to moving into the new building on Station Street in January, but lately groups of employees who have no business here have been circling the building. These visits pose a safety hazard, disturb construction workers and could jeopardize your appointment.

Would you please ask your staff who have not yet been transferred to Station Street to stay away from the building? If you have to meet someone here who has already moved out, they should go about their business and head straight down the nearest stairwell.

We need to avoid further disruption so our builders can get the building ready for occupancy on schedule. If you have questions, please give me a call.

Many Thanks,


Melvin R. Vargas

Site Manager, Maxim Construction Co.

(Video) Professional and Technical Communication Lecture Series Episode 2: Emails, Letters, and Memos

1234 Main St, Big City, Kanada

Figure 6.1 | Standard email example

Possible email structure

  • Regarding: Summarize the reason for writing.
  • Opening:Explain your main reason for writing.
  • Body: Add relevant information to support the motif in the opening.
  • Conclude: Add a final thought, required action, or summarize the information.

Tips for effective business email

If you're struggling to write an email, don't waste your reader's time. Many readers receive hundreds of emails every day. As a reader sits down to read a letter or memo, they often spend a few seconds scanning an email for relevant information before moving on to the next. Unless your email is confidential or you're delivering bad news, it's almost always a good idea to make the main point of the email clear and clearly tell the audience what you should do. With email, you should tell the reader why you're writing, provide supporting details, and then tell the reader what to do.

Here are some tips for sending emails successfully:

  • Use appropriate greetings: Appropriate greetings should show respect and avoid confusion in case a message is accidentally sent to the wrong recipient. For example, use a greeting like "Dear Madam. X" (external) or "Hi, Barry" or "Dear Barry" (internal).
  • Make subject lines clear: Subject lines should be clear, short, and specific. This helps the recipient understand the essence of the message. For example, “Suggestion attached” or “Your 10/25 question”.
  • Be brief: leave out unnecessary words.
  • Use a clear format: insert line breaks between sentences or break your message into short paragraphs to make it easier to read.
  • Have a clear purpose: If you cover more than one topic in your email, you should send multiple emails so your reader doesn't miss any important information.
  • Test Links: If you include a link, please test it to make sure it works.
  • Announce attachments: If you add attachments, be sure to mention them in your message.
  • Close with a Signature: Identify yourself by creating a signature block that automatically includes your name and business contact information. It's becoming more common for businesses to add First Nations country endorsements to their email signatures. It is important to learn from your organization if they use First Nations land acknowledgments and how to include them exactly in your signature.
  • Reread, Proofread, Proofread: Identify and correct spelling and grammatical errors before hitting submit. It will take more time and effort to undo the problems caused by a rushed, poorly written email than to get it right the first time.
  • Respond Promptly: Watch out for an emotional reaction — never reply angry — but make it a habit to respond to all emails within 24 hours, even if it just says you'll get the requested information within 48 hours or provide 72 hours.
  • Use Reply All sparingly: don't send your reply to everyone who received the original email unless your message needs to be read by the entire group.

before hitting thefrom youbutton, review and revise your email. Put yourself in the position of your reader and assess whether you have achieved the desired goal at all. Also assess whether you have achieved the appropriate tone and formality. After reviewing in general,always revisedan email. In any professional situation, but especially in those important situations involving getting and keeping a job, any mistake in spelling, grammar, or punctuation can be costly. A poorly written email is offensive because it effectively tells the recipient, "I didn't care enough about you to take the time to make sure this email was written correctly." Worse, bad writing can Cause communication problems when it puts the interpretative burden on the reader to find out what the author meant when it is not clear. When the recipient acts on misinterpretation and others base their actions on it, you quickly find that even small mistakes can have damaging effects that anger everyone involved.

Netiquette and social media

We create and maintain personal profiles, post content and comments, and interact through social media as a normal part of our personal and professional lives. How we conduct ourselves on the open Internet can leave a lasting impression that, when regrettable, cannot be easily undone. That snappy but not-so-PC-esque reaction to a public Facebook or Twitter post in a hot moment a decade ago may come back to haunt you. We all learn as we navigate this new media environment, but any mistakes we've made along the way, no matter how much we've matured since then, are still for all to see and can have lasting effects on our careers. Many candidates for political office have been put down by their past social media posts, and rest assured that countless job seekers have ruined their chances with similar posts. Some pointers on what to do about these mistakes and how to behave appropriately in the future can help improve your employability. Many years ago, when the Internet was a new phenomenon, Virginia Shea established a set of ground rules for online communication that still serve us today.

The Rules of Virginia Shea Netiquette

  • Think of the human on the other side of electronic communications.
  • Follow the same standards of behavior online as you do in real life.
  • Know where you are in cyberspace.
  • share expert knowledge.
  • Respect other people's privacy.
  • Don't abuse your power.
  • Forgive others' mistakes (Shea, 1994).

It's also important to remember to keep your online public profile as professional as possible and to be familiar with the privacy settings of the social media platforms you use.

Text Messages and Instant Messages

Whatever digital device you use, written communication in the form of short messages orText Messages and Instant Messages, have become a common way of connecting. They're useful for short conversations and a convenient way to keep in touch with others when talking on the phone can be awkward. Text messaging and instant messaging are not useful for long or complicated messages, and special attention should be paid to the audience.

Many companies have adopted SMS and messaging apps for internal communication as they offer multiple benefits. According to (Kashyap, 2020), these benefits include:

  • Improved communication, especially important when employees are not in the same place.
  • Streamlined workflow that helps teams work more efficiently
  • Better employee engagement that increases productivity
  • Improved project management that reduces the likelihood of mix-ups
  • Stronger team relationships that help create a positive work environment

Tips for effective texting and instant messaging

  • Follow company policy. Find out about and follow the SMS and messaging rules in your company. Contacting someone too often, for example, can border on harassment. Sending text messages is a tool. Use it when appropriate, but don't abuse it.
  • Know your recipient; 🇧🇷 % dsct" might be an understandable way to ask a close associate what the appropriate discount is for a particular customer, but if you're texting your boss, it might make more sense to write, "What % discount does Murray get Order over $1,000?”
  • Anticipate unintended interpretations. Text messages and messages often use symbols and codes to represent thoughts, ideas, and emotions. Given the complexity of communication and the useful but limited tool of SMS and messaging, you should be aware of the limitations and avoid misinterpretation of short messages.
  • Know what information to send. Not all information should be transmitted via SMS or instant messaging. For example, if you need to deliver bad news or convey confidential information or private data, it is better to use another form of communication.
  • Break up from time to time. Do you feel connected all the time? Do you feel lost or "crazy" when you don't have your phone with you and can't connect with people for even fifteen minutes? Sometimes it can be healthy to be unavailable for a while — all in moderation, including texting.
  • Don't text and drive. Research shows that when drivers text while driving, the likelihood of an accident increases dramatically (Houston Chronicle, 2009). An accident while conducting Company business would adversely affect both your judgment and your employer.

Use social media professionally

Review sites, blogs, tweets, and online community forums are some of the ever-evolving social media used by businesses and industries to reach customers and other stakeholders. People's comfort in the online environment forces companies to market and interact there, or risks a massive loss of revenue and interest. While most users learn to use social media as an extension or facilitation of their social life, using the same platforms for professional reasons requires some behavioral change.

First, realize that every modern business or organization should have a social media presence on the websites they expect their customer base to visit, especially popular sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The messages here should be consistent across platforms when alerting the customer base to important information such as special events, offers, and other news.

Follow below expert advice on how to properly use social media in detail to promote your business and reach people. Large companies will employ employees to manage their social media presence, but small businesses can do much of it themselves if they follow some decent online advice, such as: B. the following pages:

Also, know that social media is an ever-evolving environment. Stay current by continuously researching and implementing the latest advice similar to the previous ones.

Finally, even if you don't think others know where you work or who you are, always remember how the websites you visit and what you post represent you and your employer. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are required by law to archive usage and traffic information that becomes available upon subpoena. Every step you take leaves a digital footprint, so you must hold yourself accountable for any missteps that shame you or your business.

write notes

A memorandum (or memorandum, meaning "reminder") is typically used to communicate official policies, procedures, or business-related informationinsideAn organisation. It is often written from a one-to-all perspective (like mass communication) and conveys a message to an audience rather than a one-to-one interpersonal communication. It can also be used to update a team on the activities of a specific project, or to notify a specific group within an organization of an event, action, or observation.

Memos can be tricky as they often communicate with multiple audiences with different contextual awareness. For example, when communicating a new company policy, different types of employees want to know exactly how the policy affects them.

Common situations when writing memos

Memos are used in a variety of workplace communication situations, from documenting procedures and policies to simple announcements. The following are some common types of memos:

  • Policies (changes and new)
  • instructions
  • procedure
  • To sue
  • travelogues


Memos are distinguished by a header containing DATE, TO, FROM, and SUBJECT lines. More lines like CC or BCC can be added as needed. A RE ("Reference") line can be used in place of SUBJECT, but this usage is becoming less common as "RE" is often confused with "Reply" because of its use in email.

(Video) The Key Forms of Business Writing: Basic Memo

  • DATUM: List the date the memo was distributed.
  • TO THE: List the names of memo recipients. If there are multiple recipients, it's acceptable to use a group name such as "All Employees" or "Members of the Human Resources Committee."
  • OUT: List author(s) name and title.
  • THEME: Think of the SUBJECT line as the title of the memo. Make it specific so readers can identify the topic right away.

These headings can be double or single, and the SUBJECT line is sometimes capitalized. Also, the order of the items may vary. Many organizations have their own style preferences in these matters. Otherwise, the double-spaced order listed above is most common. Memo text typically uses a single-spaced block format, with extra spacing between paragraphs, and no indentation for new paragraphs.


Professional memos are organized using one of two strategies: direct and indirect.

  • ÖDirectThe organization's strategy sets out the purpose of the document in the first paragraph (sometimes the first sentence) and provides supporting details in the body.
  • ÖindirectlyThe organization's strategy begins with relevant and attention-grabbing details that do not directly state the purpose of the document. The purpose is revealed in the body of the message, usually below supporting details.

Direct address is used for good news or routine communication; The indirect approach is used for persuasion, sales, or bad news. A direct purpose is welcome in good news or routine messages, but can be seen as abrupt or insensitive in bad news or compelling news. If the audience isn't receptive to the message, it's better to gradually lead to the goal.

E-mails, memos and letters: fundamentals of business communication (1)

Both types of organizations place actionable information (such as deadlines or contact information) or a polite closing statement in the last paragraph.

Figure 6.3 shows an example of a direct memo.


Date: March 18, 2019

To: Head of department

By: Safiyya Dev, Store Manager

Subject: Nominations for Excellent Customer Service

Submit your nominations for the quarterly Customer Service Excellence Awards by April 8th. Help us identify great employees!

Do you have an employee that you would like to have in your department? Does this employee demonstrate a positive and professional attitude when helping customers? Do you often receive comments about this person's friendliness and helpfulness? Now is your chance to give this employee the recognition they deserve.

According to the nomination criteria, nominees must:

  • demonstrate excellent customer service consistent with Variety Craft Supplies policies;
  • have worked at Variety Craft Supplies for at least six months;
  • work 20 or more hours per week;
  • not receiving the Customer Service Excellence Award in the last year; and
  • have a free record of verbal and written warnings in the last six months.

The winner will receive a framed certificate and a $100 check.

A nomination form is attached. Please complete and return by Monday April 8th. Thank you for your help in identifying and rewarding outstanding customer service representatives.

Figure 6.3 | Direct memo example

As you can see, this memo has a direct and concise beginning that states the purpose of the memo. The main section contains the grant criteria that help managers to fulfill the request. The close includes promotion information, a deadline, and a polite closing message. We can compare this organization to Figure 6.4 below.


Date: February 25, 2019

To all employees

By: Jaspreet Kaur, Operations Manager

Subject: Change of opening hours

Our call center had a Friday lunchtime work schedule last year and we recently ran an evaluation to see how well the program was working.

When a customer calls on Friday afternoon to order their diabetic items, our messaging system directs them to complete their order on the company's website. While many customers are willing and able to do so, many do not have internet access (hence the call in the first place). The only other option is to wait until Monday to order and if a customer is already low on stock this might not be viable. Customers calling with questions or to troubleshoot an order should also wait until Monday.

(Video) ENG 352 Technical Writing - 31 - Letters Memos Emails

We have had positive feedback about the extended evening hours, particularly from our West Coast customers. We have decided that in order to continue offering a quality service, we need to restore operations on Friday afternoons as well.

However, that doesn't mean we can't continue to offer employees some scheduling perks. In fact, adding later hours Monday through Thursday gives us more freedom in scheduling employees.

We will be holding a staff meeting on Monday, March 4th at 8:00 am to discuss the new planning procedures. We want to take employee preferences into account as much as possible when planning, so it's important to attend this meeting so your voice is heard.

Figure 6.4 | Example of indirect memo

As you can see, the introduction is relevant to the topic but doesn't directly convey the bad news, which is that the popular weekend schedule is ending. Instead, the author uses a buffer listing the reasons for the change to mentally prepare the reader for it. The bad news is then clearly stated, but it stands between two positive statements. Note that the bad news is at the end of the paragraph because the author doesn't want readers to skim the memo and miss this important piece of information. The memo then ends with action information and a forward-looking statement.

style and tone

While memo reports and policy memos have a more formal tone, most memos have a conversational style—slightly informal, but still professional. The audience for memos are employees, so the writing style usually assumes a relationship with them (and therefore some lack of formality). Just remember that the relationship is professional, so the letter should reflect that. Also, as with all workplace documents, the audience can include a wide variety of readers, and the style and tone should be appropriate for all their technical and authority levels. Figure 6.5 highlights different levels of formality.

too informalToo formal, boring-sounding, wordyappropriate balance
Hello folks. I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Do you know the prizes we give out every now and then? It's her time again!Variety Craft Supplies' mission is to provide customers with affordable, high-quality materials with excellent customer service. Excellent customer service includes knowledge of consumables, but it also goes beyond that. It's about having the right mindset to help customers. It's time to reward employees with a customer-centric perspective.Submit your nominations for the quarterly Customer Service Excellence Awards by April 8th. Help us identify great employees!

Figure 6.5 | levels of formality

Possible memo structure

  • Datum: List the date the memo was distributed.
  • To the: List the names of memo recipients.
  • Out of: List author(s) name and title.
  • theme: Summarize the main idea.
  • Introductory paragraph:Explain your reason for writing, add background information.
  • Body: Add supporting details for the reason stated in the opening.
  • Conclude: Add a final thought, required action, or summarize the information.

Tips for writing effective memos

  • Target group management:When preparing a memo, always consider the audience and their needs. An acronym or abbreviation known to management may not be known to all employees of the organization and when the memo is published and circulated within the organization the goal is clear and concise communication at all levels without ambiguity.
  • Professional Tone:Memos are usually announcements, and the person sending the memo speaks on behalf of part or all of the organization. While it may include a request for feedback, the ad itself is linear from organization to employee. The memo can be legally binding as it usually reflects policy or procedure and can refer to a new or existing policy in the employee handbook, for example.
  • Focus of the topic:The subject is usually given in the subject line and should be clear and concise. For example, if the memo announces observance of a holiday, the specific holiday should be mentioned in the subject line -- for example, use "Thanksgiving Weekend Schedule" instead of "Holiday Observance."


As one of the most formal documents you can send, a letter conveys a high level of respect to its recipient. Sending a letter is your way of saying that the recipient matters. Letters are usually one to two page documents sent to people or organizations outside of the organization they are sent from, while memos are equivalent documents for formal communication within an organization.

Common situations when writing letters

Although we use email for many of the occasions that we sent letters before the 21st century, letters are still sent instead of email for a variety of purposes:

  • Cover letters to employers in job applications
  • Thank you letters and other expressions of goodwill
  • Letter of recommendation (also called reference letter)
  • Letter of transmission for submission of reports or proposals
  • Campaign initiatives such as fundraising or political advocacy
  • Official announcements of products, services and promotions to customers
  • Claims and other complaints submitted to companies to create a formal record as evidence in cases escalating in court
  • Formal rejection notices from job or program applicants
  • Debt collection notices for those who are late in paying

In these cases, letters offer the advantages of formality, confidentiality (it is illegal to open someone else's mail), and evidence.

There are two main types of lettering: block style lettering and modified block style lettering. The block style used by organizations has company letterhead at the top, while modified block letters are usually written independently by individuals. Regardless of the type of letter you need to write, it can contain up to fifteen elements. Although you cannot use all elements in all cases or contexts, they are listed in Figure 6.6.

1. Sender address
  • This is your address for someone to reply to.
  • If your letter includes a letterhead with this information, either in the header (top of page) or footer (bottom of page), you don't need to include it before the date.
2. Data
  • The date must be placed at the top, right or left, within five lines of the top of the page or letterhead logo.
3. Recipient's Contact Information
  • This is the recipient's contact information.
  • It's always a good idea to address your letter to a specific person within an organization.
  • If you don't have the person's contact information, do a search on the company's website or contact the company directly.
4. Reference (Re:) *optional
  • As in the subject line of an email, this is where you indicate what the letter is about, the subject or the purpose of the document.
5. Opening Greeting
  • A common greeting might be: “Dear Sir/Madam. + (last name)." If you're not sure about the salutation (e.g. Ms., Ms., Mr., Mx., Dr.), simply write the recipient's name (e.g. "Dear Cameron Rai”) followed by a colon.
  • A comma after the salutation is fine in personal letters, but a colon should be used in business.
  • The salutation "To Whom It May Concern" is appropriate for letters of recommendation or other letters that should be read by everyone. If this is not the case with your letter, but you are not sure how to address the recipient, do your best to find out who the letter should be addressed to.
  • For many, there is no sweeter sound than your name, and if you misspell it you risk alienating the reader even before your letter is read.
  • Avoid impersonal greetings like "Dear prospect" as a lack of personalization can turn off a prospective customer.
6. Introduction
  • This is your introductory paragraph and, depending on the nature of the letter, it may contain an attention statement, a reference to the purpose of the document, or an introduction to the person or subject.
  • An emphatic opening involves using the most significant or most important element of the letter in the introduction.
  • Readers tend to pay attention to openings, and it makes sense to outline expectations of the reader early on.
  • Just as you would visualize your topic in a speech, a clear opening in your presentations creates context and makes it easy to understand.
7. body
  • If you have a list of points, a set of facts, or a set of questions, these should be included in the body of your letter.
  • You can select organizational elements to attract attention, e.g. a numbered or bulleted list.
  • Readers can skip information in the body of your letter, so make sure you clearly state important points.
  • This is your main content where you can outline and support various key points.
  • Brevity is important, but so is clear support for the main point(s). Specific and meaningful information must be clear, concise and accurate.
8. Conclusion
  • An emphatic conclusion mirrors your introduction, with the added element of bringing the main points together and clearly demonstrating their relationship.
  • The conclusion may serve as a reminder, but is not intended to introduce any new information.
  • A clear summary sentence will strengthen your writing and increase its effectiveness.
  • If your writing calls for or implies action, the conclusion must make clear what you are hoping for.
  • This paragraph reiterates the main points and their relationship to each other and reinforces the main point or purpose.
9. Final Greeting
  • “Best regards” or “friendly” are common closing statements.
  • Closing words are usually a line or two below the end and include a comma, as in "Best regards."
10. Signaturblock
  • You must enter your name (mandatory field) five lines after completion and, if applicable, your title in the line below.
11. Attachments (Attachments)
  • Like an email with an attachment, the letter sometimes has additional documents that are included.
  • This line indicates what the reader might be looking for in relation to the documents contained in the letter, e.g. B. Brochures, reports or related business documents.
  • Only add this line if you are actually adding additional documentation.
12. Logo and Contact Information
  • A formal business letter usually includes an organization's logo or contact information in the header (top of the page) or footer (bottom of the page).

Figure 6.6 |Elements of a business letter

Some of these elements are shown in the sample letter in Figure 6.7.

Bubba's bean barn

37 Bean Street, Vancouver, V1P-4G3 | info@bubbasbeans.com | 604-222-3333

15 January 2020

Sra. Marge Gagnon
1111 Random St.
Vancouver, BC

Subject: Job offer at Bubba's Bean Barn

Dear Mrs. gagnon,

(Video) Writing an Effective Business Email

We are writing to officially offer you a position as a Bean Counter at Bubba's Bean Barn.

As a member of our grain counting team, you will be responsible for applying grain counting best practices to efficiently count a variety of grain types and collaborate effectively with a team of other grain counters. Her starting salary is $65,000, including the benefits outlined in the attached benefits package. They start on March 1, 2020 at 8:30 a.m.

Welcome to our bean team on behalf of all of us at Bubba's Bean Barn! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Bubba Jean McBean

Attachments: benefits package, full job description.

Figure 6.7 | letter template

Possible charter structure
  • Return address or company letterhead:Include your address or use your company letterhead
  • Datum:Record the date the letter was written
  • Contact details of the recipient:Include the recipient's name, title and company (if required) and address
  • opening greeting:Add an appropriate salutation
  • Body:Write an introduction with the main idea, develop the main idea in the main paragraphs and close with a closing paragraph
  • final greeting:Add proper closure
  • Name and Signature:Add name, signature and title

Tips for successful business letters

  • be clear, concise, specific and respectful;
  • every word must contribute to its purpose;
  • each paragraph should focus on one idea;
  • the parts of the letter must make up a complete message;
  • Proofread the letter for errors.


Keep in mind that many organizations have their own templates and may have their own rules for writing emails, memos, and letters. Check with your organization to ensure your business documentation reflects their standard.

Activities at the end of the chapter

6. think about content

What are the main conclusions of this chapter? What have you learned from your experience or would you like to add?

6b. discussion questions

discussion questions

  1. When is email inappropriate? There?
  2. In your experience, do people behave differently when interacting online versus in person?
  3. How many text messages do you send and receive each day? Do you think it's too much?
  4. Have you ever posted something online that you regretted?
  5. Find a business letter you received. Look for common elements and differences.

6c. Applying chapter concepts to a situation

Replies to online comments

The Green Beans Café is a popular restaurant that excels at sandwiches, salads, wraps, and smoothies. Ranked 9th out of 253 restaurants in Vancouver, it consistently receives rave reviews from its customers. However, the cafe unexpectedly receives the following rating on TripAdvisor:

“The worst restaurant in Vancouver”

“I've been to many restaurants in Vancouver but this is the worst I've tried. The chicken wrap was absolutely disgusting! It was BONES, the lettuce was brown and the cheese tasted like rubber. The waiters weren't even friendly and refused to smile while interacting with customers. If I could rate the restaurant less than one star, I would. Please don't waste your hard earned money here.”

Sunita, the restaurant's assistant manager, is tasked with responding to online reviews. She remembers the incident with the guest on duty and believes that this person is lying. Sunita is disappointed that the cafe gave this guest a free meal, but still wrote a negative review.

What should Sunita keep in mind as she prepares to respond to the review? Write an outline of their answer.

6d. writing activity

Read this article from The Muse abouthow to answer too many emails from your boss🇧🇷 Summarize the article. Do you agree with the advice? Is there a third alternative? How would you react to email overload at work?


Kashyap, V. (2020, January 29). 14 Best Team Chat Apps (To Use In 2020): Who's Staying Here? Retrieved from https://www.proofhub.com/articles/team-chat-apps


This chapter contains information aboutCorporate communication for successwhich was adapted from a work produced and distributed under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-SA) in 2010 by a publisher who has requested that it and the original author not be given attribution. This adapted edition is produced byUniversity of Minnesota Libraries PublicationthrougheLearning support initiative, Business communication for everyone(c) 2019 by Arley Cruthers and is licensed under aCreative Commons-Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International Licenseecommunication at workby Jordan Smith is licensed under aCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

(Video) The Secret to Business Writing: Crash Course Business - Soft Skills #3


Strunk, W., Jr., & White, E.B. (1979).The style elements(3. Aufl.). New York, NY: Macmillian.

Wyrick, J. (2008).Steps to writing well(10. Aufl.). Boston, MA: Thomson Wadsworth.


Should email replace the communication forms such as memos and letters explain your answer? ›

No email will ever replace the personal touch of writing and mailing a letter to someone, and the same goes for business too. For some industries, such as publishing, letters are still an important way of communicating news with a client or following up on meetings and interviews.

What is the importance of email and memo writing in business world? ›

Most are for business purposes because email is such a flexible channel ideal for anything from short, routine information shares, requests, and responses the length of a text, to important formal messages delivering the content that letters and memos used to handle.

What are the main similarities and differences between e mails and memos? ›

Emails have many additional features that can enhance readability and email scalability. This might include short paragraphs, bullet points or changing margins to help readers scan and retain information easily. Memos often use columns and different headings to emphasize certain points throughout the document.

How are business letters and memos used in the workplace? ›

Business letters and memos typically have one of three purposes. The purpose may be to (1) share neutral or good news, (2) share negative news, or (3) persuade the reader to take some action. Each letter-writing strategy is discussed and presented in detail.

Why email is not the best form of communication? ›

Even though email is convenient, it is one of the worst means of effective communication. There is a good chance that the recipient is reading your message in a different way than you intended it. It lacks true interactivity as well as immediate feedback that in-person contact can bring you.

Do you think emails will replace letter writing? ›

Do you think email can replace handwriting? No, never. Emails are becoming more and more popular nowadays because they are quick and free, but you need the internet and a laptop or smartphone to use emails, while with handwriting, you only need a pen and some paper. Do you often write something by hand?

What is the purpose of e mail in business communication? ›

Email is an important method of business communication that is fast, cheap, accessible and easily replicated. Using email can greatly benefit businesses as it provides efficient and effective ways to transmit all kinds of electronic data.

What is the purpose of email in the workplace? ›

Email provides an easily searchable virtual paper trail of conversations and interactions. Email is accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. Email allows a message to be communicated to several recipients at once. Email gives recipients time to think about the content and thoughtfully respond to it.

What are three 3 differences between letters and memos? ›

Signature is not required in a memo. A letter is duly signed by the sender. Use of technical jargon and personal pronoun is allowed. Simple words are used and written in third person.

How do emails and memos differ from business letters? ›

Memos are used only for communication within an organization, especially when the subject is more formal, non-routine, and more serious than what you'd write in an email. Letters are typically sent to recipients outside an organization.

What is the basic two part structure of e mails and memos? ›

A memo consists of two parts: the identifying information at the top, and the message itself. At the top, identify for whom the memo has been written, who is sending it, the subject, and the date. The subject line serves as the memo's title.

What is the purpose of a letter and memo? ›

Memos are brief business documents usually used internally to inform or persuade employees concerning business decisions on policy, procedure, or actions. Letters are brief, print messages often used externally to inform or persuade customers, vendors, or the public.

What is the main use or purpose of a memo? ›

A memorandum (memo) is used to communicate something of immediate importance to people within a business or organization. A memo also can be sent to people or firms that have close or long-standing relationships, such as vendors or consultants. Like a business letter, a memo is a permanent record of your communication.

What is the main purpose of business letter? ›

Business letters can have many types of content, for example to request direct information or action from another party, to order supplies from a supplier, to point out a mistake by the letter's recipient, to reply directly to a request, to apologize for a wrong, or to convey goodwill.

What is one of the biggest challenges of email communication? ›

Email can cause misunderstandings. Because email does not include nonverbal communication, recipients may misinterpret the sender's message. This is particularly true of senders fail to go through their messages before they send them. Email messages can contain viruses.

What are the three main components of an e-mail explain? ›

Components of E-Mail System : The basic components of an email system are : User Agent (UA), Message Transfer Agent (MTA), Mail Box, and Spool file.

Why is email the most used method of communication? ›

Email is important for communication because it allows users to send information in letter format, and email can replace traditional mail options. Emails can be more beneficial for communication because they can often include text, documents and multimedia, like photos and videos.

What are the five importance of email? ›

Importance of Email

Business communication can be done easily without any security issues and is faster than any other form of communication. Also, contacts can be saved easily with the help of emails, and past messages can be checked frequently rather than saving the data on the local server.

What type of communication is email? ›

Email is typically a form of one-way communication—meaning it does not allow for an immediate exchange of ideas like calls, in-person, or online virtual meetings do.

What is the most important advantage of email? ›

Advantages of E-mail :

It is effective and cheap means of communication because single message can be send to multiple people at same time. E-mails are very easy to filter.

What are 4 types of memo letter? ›

There is a standard format for all memos, but there are four different types of memos based on their other purposes. Those memos are the response memo, meeting minutes memo, status memo, and field report memo.

What are memos and examples? ›

A memo, short for memorandum, is a way to inform a group of people about a specific problem, solution, or event. A memo should be brief, straightforward, and easy to read. It informs recipients and provides an action plan with specific next steps. You may send a memo as a paper letter, fax, or PDF attached to an email.

Which one is more effective a memo or an email? ›

A company email can elicit a productive and instant conversation where each person's response can be tracked and displayed for everyone to see. A memo does not allow that level of interaction.

What type of format are letters memos and emails? ›

When you craft your correspondence, letters and memos are treated as informal reports and follow the SIDCRA format. Similarly, in a professional context, emails and texts should maintain this organizational structure to help your audience understand and retrieve information quickly.

What are the 5 structures of an email? ›

What are the five parts of an email? Emails can be broken into 5 major parts: the sender, subject line, salutations, body, and CTA. These pieces make up 99% of emails and provide an optimal format for engaging with clients and optimising conversions.

What are the three types of memo? ›

Types of memos

There are three memo styles: suggestive, confirmation, and request.

What are the 3 purposes of memo writing? ›

Purpose of a Memorandum

To convey specific details on a project. To request specific information. To offer suggestions on a matter.

What's the difference between a memo and a letter? ›

1. A letter is a short or long message that is sent by one person to another while a memo is a short message that is sent by a person to another. 2. A letter is more formal and contains more information while a memo is informal and is very short.

Do you think letters should be phased out and replaced with emails completely Why? ›

No, because email is not a superior form of communication in every conceivable way. That is, there are some ways in which a traditional letter is superior. Such as: * A letter does not require an Internet connection to be sent or received.

Why do people prefer to use email to send letters and documents instead of other communication tools? ›

The Advantages of Email for Internal Communications

Email is a free tool. Once you are online, there is no further expense that you need to spend on in order to send and receive messages. Email is quick. Once you have finished composing a message, sending it is as simple as clicking a button.

Why is email better form of communication? ›

Advantages of using email

fast - an email should reach its recipient in minutes, or at the most within a few hours. convenient - your message will be stored until the recipient is ready to read it, and you can easily send the same message to a large number of people.

What is the difference between memo letter and email? ›

Emails are generally used both within an organization (“in-house”) and outside an organization, when the subject is relatively informal and routine. Memos are used only for communication within an organization, especially when the subject is more formal, non-routine, and more serious than what you'd write in an email.


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