You may be familiar with policy memos, those one-to-two page documents often delivered by policy analysts to inform decision makers. Policy memos are a remarkably useful tool for all sorts of information exchange. In many ways they are similar to executive summaries. Both policy memos and executive summaries:
- Effectively communicate key messages in a succinct manner;
- Present evidence from both sides of a debate (pros and cons or strengths and weaknesses); and
- Synthesize much information into one easy to use document.
But there’s one key distinction between executive summaries and policy memos: Policy memos contain a call to action of some sort. Often, this takes the form of a recommendation to follow one course of action over another. Or, it may be a simple set of action steps.
At ACET we often use policy-type memos to communicate with clients, highlighting key findings, strengths, challenges, and next steps. You might want to consider whether this document style could be a similar useful tool in your organization.