When to Use Emails, Memos, and Letters in Business

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When to Use Emails, Memos, and Letters in Business Introduction Emails, memorandums (memos), and letters have specific purposes that often preclude the use of other forms of communications. Emails are now considered a primary business communications tool, similar to a telephone, but memorandums and letters still play an important role. This essay will compare these three forms of written communications and the situations in which they should or should not be used. Formality The use of emails, memos, and letters can be categorized in terms of formal style. Laurie Rozakis (2000) suggests emails are less formal than memos, and memos are less formal than letters. Wienbroer and colleagues (2005) would agree and further suggest that memos should be used for routine messages within an organization. In addition, the formality of memos can range from informal to formal, but should always be considered less formal than a letter. Memos and letters are almost always written on paper with the organizations letterhead, which tends to lend the document a formal tone. However, some email users have become sophisticated enough that their emails are similarly formatted. Security Emails are not secure, since they tend to be archived on a business's servers and frequently read by managers (Rozakis, 2000, p. 145). For this reason, emails should be considered insecure communications, certainly less secure than phone calls or written notes on paper. Memos, depending on how wide the
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