Transmittal Documents

A transmittal document conveys the report to the primary reader using a conversational, personal style of writing. If the reader is within the organization, use a transmittal memo; if they are outside the organization, use a transmittal letter on your personal or business letterhead. For this document you should:

. Use the direct organizational pattern
. Begin by transmitting the report, using a friendly tone but not a pushy or a casual tone.
. Briefly discuss any needed background information and give some indication of the report's contents, but don't repeat the contents of the executive summary.
. Include any other information that will help the reader understand and use the information in the report
. End with goodwill features, such as an expression of appreciation or willingness to discuss the report further.

The transmittal document is a letter that is paper-clipped to the outside of the document if your primary audience is an outside audience.

The transmittal document is a memo that is bound in as part of the contents of the report (and given a page number) if your primary audience is an inside audience. (If the audience is inside but way above you on the corporate food chain, use a letter instead as a sign of respect; see Tiger Woods' sample report as an example.)

See "Building the Big Report" for more details and examples.

Now click here to critique three sample transmittal letters.