Before going through professor Norwood’s book, memos had the same purpose, use, and structure as emails in my head. The communication style represented a good channel for fast messaging on internal matters. However, Norwood’s book presents a different understanding of the communication style. Unlike emails or faxes, memos are best applicable when the sender seeks to pass a message meant to last. Memos tend to contain detailed proposals, important report, technical explanations, new policies or important workplace recommendations. The recipients of the information will have to consult the writing more than once, which gives memos more importance. The reading also illustrates that the traditional use of hard copy materials is more effective when it comes to writing memos. Unlike emails, which are more effective in digital format, memos require tangibility to have a long-lasting impact. Given the evolution of communication in recent decades, research on communications will need to identify ways to make memos more efficient and effective while using digital formats.
- How can memos be more effective while in digital format?
- Can memos be applied as a form of informal internal communication?
Organization skills are imperative for the growth and advancement of an individual’s career. I once had a secretarial position in a community project. My primary task was to organize small events and ‘to-do’ activities for the project managers. As a federally funded project, the managers had a lot of functions and measures to cover. Their busy schedules translated into a lot of small ‘to-do’ requirements that emerged randomly. To keep up with the unexpected requirements, I automated all activities. Using Wunderlist, I would converse with the managers to create a two-week schedule. The approach ascertained that major activities were prepared for early. Therefore, there was sufficient time to include unanticipated tasks. There are situations where automation did not solve the dilemmas of unexpected jobs. The traditional paper planning method using a hand notebook used to come in handy to detail random but important information.
The tone of an email dictates whether the reader will ignore, read or delete the message. The tone is a very important aspect of digital communication, as it denotes the quality of writing and the attitude of the writer. To use the appropriate tone, one must have a clear understanding of the audience. Email for business purposes needs to be formal. The communication should begin with formal greetings and salutations. Brevity, simplicity, and clarity should be the main attributes of the email, as the purpose is to be direct and professional. However, internal emails between colleagues and peers can be less professional. The tone can be relaxed and the writing can exclude greetings and salutations. It is allowed for the email to employ common languages, such as memes, emojis, and slang. However, the common language should never distort the purpose and clarity of the email.
- To which extent can an employee use common language in internal emails?
- As a manager, would you allow the use of common language in internal emails?
Audience analysis is a strategic function in marketing and communications. Knowing and understanding the audience is typically perceived as a requirement for successful communication. I let the audience dictate the degree of formality in my language. When speaking to superiors, I leave some physical space, keep the conversations straight-forward and limit eye contact. Referencing Mrs. Norwood definitions, a superior represents an external audience. The communication has to be precise and detailed to be appealing to the managers. However, when dealing with colleagues, I use common language and create room for personal interactions by being open. Colleagues represent internal audiences because we share the same workplace values. Given that we share common vocabularies; communication can be more open compared to external audiences.
- What type of language or tone should be applied when dealing with target neutral audiences?
Texting tends to be more associated with the risk of poor performance as opposed to improving performance in the workplace. However, the belief is based by most people associating texting with the casual Short Message Service (SMS). Other forms of texting can improve communication in the workplace environment. For instance, Instant Messaging is not designed in a way to promote non-business chatting. The formality in design does not negate the application’s friendliness, making it equally useful in consumer-business interactions. Instant messaging can be applied in any marketing strategy, as it provides real-time communication. However, the users of the platforms need to be proficient in their use of language. The users must equally be critical with their responses as a small ill-written text can transform into a corporate nightmare.
- Can instant messaging replace emails as the primary form of formal interactive communication?
- How can instant messaging be used in B2B interactions, which entail more formal relationships?