Memos and email

Electronic Direct Messaging (EDM)

Memos and emails can be used to help maintain ongoing communication among evaluation stakeholders through brief and specific messages about a particular issue.

For example, these formats can be used to update program staff, partners and other participants about evaluation progress, invite them to participate in upcoming evaluation activities, follow up on decisions made at working meetings, and/or communicate how an evaluation’s recommendations will be used or implemented (from Torres et al., 2005). When written properly, these formats should persuade others to (quickly) take action or give specific feedback on a particular matter. 


Source: (Sobrepena, 2010)

Advice for choosing this method

  • Be sure that the material you want to communicate is not too sensitive to put in writing: sometimes the best forms of communication are face-to-face interaction or a phone call.
  • E-mail is the most common way of communicating in places with internet access these days, but then you need to compete with a lot of other email “traffic” to be heard.
  • Postcards are probably rarely used nowadays, but could be used in locations where there is no internet access.
  • If communicating to a large group of stakeholders, or tracking opens or link clicks is important to you, consider using an email marketing service, such as Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor, which will allow you to see reports on each email you send, as well give you better control over the layout of your email than a standard email client. 

Advice for using this method

  • State clearly at the top (e-mail does this for you automatically): To whom, From whom, Date and Subject.
  • To get a quick response, be sure to gear the message, language and style to the audience you are targeting, speaking to their concerns and priorities.
  • Be careful about who you include in the addressee list, especially when you are communicating sensitive information. Sending memos or e-mails thoughtlessly to a big group can do a lot of harm if they include personal or politically sensitive information about specific people or agencies, for example. 
  • Especially with e-mails, do not assume your information will remain private: Be careful about hitting “reply all” instead of just “reply”.” 
  • Be concise and include only the necessary information to get your message across. Use short and descriptive headings to divide topics and keep the paragraphs short and to the point. 


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