Tutorial for “Write a Persuasive Memo to an Employee or Colleague”

Tips

In a persuasive memo you must constantly keep your reader's feelings in mind. Consider how the person will react to what you are saying. What would convince him or her most readily? How much should you rely on logic, and how much should you appeal to emotion?

Steps

1. Open with a statement that focuses the reader's attention on the issue.

Sentences

  • We all have our pet peeves, and we all know how easy it is for someone with a different personality to get under our skin. However, in order to work efficiently and produce quality work, we must pull together. We cannot allow personality differences to get in the way of our productivity.
  • With the primary election less than a month away, it's time once again to register to vote.
  • We cannot simply ignore the government. Sometimes we must make our voices heard. Since the state legislature will be voting on the education bill soon, this is one of those times.
  • For some time we have had a relatively liberal policy on employees' use of the phone; but as you know, due to the abuse by some, we have to tighten the policy for all.
  • As a colleague, I know how much you all enjoy meeting other people in our field. We have such an opportunity coming up soon.

Phrases

  • according to the posted announcement
  • am aware of your interest in
  • an amendment to employee contracts
  • at the last board meeting
  • because of the recent incidents
  • because we all work well together
  • for the benefit of all the
  • has become necessary to
  • has requested that all employees
  • have encountered some problems with
  • have issued a directive concerning
  • have some concerns about
  • have been asked to refrain from
  • is a perfect opportunity to
  • it has been strongly recommended
  • need an opportunity to
  • raised a question concerning
  • reports show that
  • the problem has led to
  • this new policy will
  • to open lines of communication
  • to clear up any confusion
  • to increase attendance at
  • will install a new
  • will affect all employees
  • would like to explain

2. State what you want to persuade the reader to do or not do.

Sentences

  • We have decided to work in larger teams in the hope that this will alleviate some of the current personality conflicts. Still, we urge you to work through your differences yourselves. We really need your support and teamwork.
  • Next week, Doe Corporation is sponsoring a voter registration day for our employees. We hope all of you will take this opportunity to register, if you have not already done so.
  • This bill would decrease available school funds significantly, resulting in even lower wages for our teachers, fewer textbooks and other teaching materials for our students, and another increase in class size. We encourage you as responsible citizens to write to your representative and tell him or her to vote against this bill.
  • We know that most of you do not abuse your telephone privileges, and we sincerely appreciate this. But until we can encourage those few who do abuse privileges to cooperate, we all must pay the price. Please cooperate with us and follow the new policy.
  • We are hosting a reception for Dr. Eric Doe on Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. He will give a lecture earlier that day at 3:00 p.m. in the council room. Please attend either the reception or the lecture.

Phrases

  • adhere to the new policy
  • advise all employees to
  • are taking the following measures
  • ask for your cooperation with
  • attendance is mandatory
  • each take personal responsibility for
  • invite you to submit your
  • is essential that we
  • is important to
  • it is imperative that
  • need to improve communication
  • request that everyone
  • request that all employees
  • suggest that we
  • to be conscious of
  • to overcome this obstacle
  • to better accommodate the
  • to complete this project on time
  • trust that this will
  • urge you to take this opportunity to
  • will form a committee
  • would like everyone in the department to

3. Explain why the reader should cooperate. Calling attention to personal benefits will help.

Sentences

  • We all experience satisfaction when we succeed in resolving or avoiding a conflict.
  • Voting is one way you can be an active citizen and show your patriotism. Too many of us fail to take advantage of this right.
  • If this bill were to pass, not only would it be hard on the schools, but it would also inflate each person's taxable income by another five percent.
  • It is a great honor for us to have Dr. Eric Doe here. We can all benefit from his vast knowledge and experience.
  • If we all pitch in together and follow the new policy, I think we will find life much easier for everyone. If, after we all follow it, we find that the policy is indeed too rigid, we can look into loosening it again.
  • Working together as a team will not only improve the quality of your work, but will also increase your overall productivity. In addition, it will help you appreciate your co-workers and even make some new friends.

Phrases

  • can all look forward to
  • can all benefit by
  • depend on each individual to
  • for the good of the
  • have all invested a great deal of
  • have no doubt that you will
  • imagine the results if we all
  • increase in overall productivity
  • increase our knowledge of
  • may not be immediately popular
  • need to take advantage of
  • our observations show
  • requires an ongoing effort
  • should see results early on
  • the intent of this change is to
  • this policy was designed to
  • to increase our skills
  • to an improvement in
  • to the successful completion of
  • will be reflected in our
  • will improve communication between
  • will enhance our understanding of
  • will minimize duplication of effort

4. Close with a call to action. Add any additional information the reader may need.

Sentences

  • The new policy will take effect on Tuesday morning. We need every employee's cooperation to make it work.
  • The company will hold a voter registration drive in the lobby on September 20 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. This schedule should allow you to register during your lunch hour, if that is your only available time.
  • Let us know if you plan to attend the reception, so that we can provide enough refreshments.
  • Besides harming our children's education, the bill would rob teachers of even more of what they deserve. Let your representative know how you feel today.
  • Let's all make a greater effort to work through our differences and learn to work together.

Phrases

  • a meaningful way to
  • are open to suggestions
  • can reach our goal
  • encourage you to
  • for your cooperation
  • for your enthusiasm
  • give your support to
  • look forward to
  • make the commitment to
  • need your help with
  • please do your best to
  • please resolve to
  • put our best efforts into
  • should any problems arise
  • take advantage of the opportunity to
  • thank you for
  • to seeing you at
  • to hearing your opinions and suggestions
  • to make the necessary changes
  • to make this a smooth transition
  • urge you to participate in
  • will meet at
  • will be held at
  • will go into effect on
  • would welcome your input

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