How to Write a Promotion Memo

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A promotion memo is a short note about an employee getting promoted. There are two types of promotion memos. In the first case an employer, usually a supervisor or human resources manager, informs an employee that she has received a promotion. In the second situation the promotion memo is an announcement sent out to other employees. A memo is a necessary form of business communication within a company. Memos are used to keep employees informed about important issues relating to the company. Writing a promotion memo is a simple task with just a few requirements.

Contact the person getting the promotion first. Many times people are told in person they are getting a promotion. Sending them a memo is also sometimes done in business. But if a general promotion memo is being sent out, the employee should not learn he is getting promoted at the same time as everyone else. Talk to the person or send him a private email first.

Know who the readers are. When sending out a memo you need to know who will be getting it. Promotion announcements could be going to a department, a division of the company or the entire organization. For promotions among senior management, the memo needs to be more formal. For a small departmental memo, graphics like a balloon around the “congratulations” may be acceptable. It all depends on the company culture and industry. The advertising industry, for example, is usually more laid back than banking.

Give details about the promotion. In journalism there are the six Ws: who, what, when, where, why and how. A promotion memo tells a brief story. For it to be useful you must give the name of the person being promoted, her new title and the date the promotion becomes effective. The “where" is the department or division she will work in. The “why” briefly discusses the employee’s accomplishments that led to the promotion. There could be a "how" if a selection committee made the decision. A promotion memo may also describe the promoted employee’s new responsibilities.

Keep the memo short. A promotion memo is really just an announcement. Keeping it short will increase the chances it will be read by others in the company.

Proofread before sending. This is important because it is a business memo and the employees expect a certain level of professionalism. Since the promotion memo is short, there really is no excuse for grammatical errors, spelling mistakes or other writing problems. The memo should be well-written and informative because it will reflect the person sending out the memo.

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