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Business internal correspondence: Distribution of consistent information

You'll have heard the expression Everybody on the same page.

That is exactly what you have to achieve, when providing information to groups of people. This is a real communications exercise.

Everyone has to be working on the same script, with the same information.

It's extremely easy to create a situation where people are getting their information from others, not from the sources you're using, or the ones you want them to see.

That's a recipe for instant inefficiency, and sometimes real disasters.

The only possible result is misinterpretation. The amount of time and effort wasted from this situation has to be seen to be disbelieved.

Standardized information sheets

To avoid misinterpretation, you define the information.

Information provided must be:

  • Clear
  • Concise
  • Comprehensive

This is mainly a matter of good drafting:

  • Use plain language to explain your information, and what you want done.
  • Do NOT digress or go off topic.
  • Be brief but clear, and keep the information in simple sentences.
  • Use headings, always, for each specific piece of information.

Keep a record of all information issued in a separate file from other correspondence.

The example given is a very straightforward information sheet for staff regarding operational matters. Note that there are a series of issues, treated separately, with an explanatory heading paragraph.

It may be appropriate to keep information sheets separate, depending on topics covered.

Example:

Information sheet for Inquiries staff 27 May 2010

You will be aware from staff training that new procedures and documents are coming into use. Staff are requested to keep copies of this information sheet for reference, and to contact their supervisors if any problems arise.

Please note that the following information applies from 31st May 2010.

New procedures:

New applicants for funding

Applicants will use the new Form 6, as of 1 June 2010.

New applicants for student loans

Applicants will use the new Form 7, as of 1 June 2010.

New applicants for extensions or variations of student loans

Applicants will use the new Form 8 as of 1 June 2010.

Old application forms- Applications lodged in person

Form 3 Application for funding will no longer be accepted after close of business on 31 May 2010.

Form 4 Application for student loan will no longer be accepted after close of business on 31 May 2010.

Form 5 Application for extension or variation of student loan will no longer be accepted after close of business on 31 May 2010.

Old application forms- Applications lodged by mail

Form 3 Application for funding will no longer be accepted after close of business on 3 June 2010.

Form 4 Application for student loan will no longer be accepted after close of business on 3 June 2010.

Form 5 Application for extension or variation of student loan will no longer be accepted after close of business on 3 June 2010.

Electronic form lodgments

  • Electronic forms will be changed as of close of business 31 May 2010. Notification of the change has been posted on our website.
  • Applications not processed on that date under the old format will be processed normally.
  • Note: There is no requirement for re lodgment of electronic forms.
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Disclaimer

Please note:

  • This text is intended for advisory and guideline purposes only.
  • Any business letter can become a legal document, so check your content properly before issuing.
  • Any executable or statutorily defined document should be checked for compliance with legal requirements, and you should seek legal advice regarding its contents.