Improving NWS Controlled Correspondence
Tips, Templates & Training suggestions
Before creating the correspondence:
- Have a plan before starting to write. You should consider:
- Memorandum or letter?
- If you are communicating outside of DOC/NOAA or writing a thank you letter to someone within NOAA, then a letter is appropriate.
- Any official communication within DOC/NOAA requires a memorandum. In most cases, correspondence going to DOC and/or NOAA leadership requires an additional transmittal memorandum.
- Who is your audience?
- The end user of the document is the reader, not the signer.
- Why are you writing this?
- Explain with incoming correspondence or a point paper,
- Use the discussion and background section of the correspondence cover sheet
- Do you have the correct level of signature?
- When does this correspondence have to arrive at the addressee?
- Allow four working days from the time you submit the correspondence package to EA until signature.
- Do you have the proper “buy-in”?
- Acquire all necessary clearances
- Legal = General Counsel
- Legislative = Legislative Affairs and/or SPP
Writing the correspondence
Use Correspondence Handbook
- Keep letters and memorandum to one page if at all possible.
- If you need to provide additional information use an enclosure (letter) or attachment (memorandum).
- Get to the point of the correspondence as soon as possible.
- Avoid long sentences.
- Avoid repeating information.
Packaging the Correspondence
- The better a package is put together, the quicker it will be signed
- Correspondence Cover sheet with all clearances.
- Due dates to EA, NWS & NOAA
- Email the electronic version to:
- The inside left-hand side should have the correspondence checklist, background and the EA task sheet
- Email clearances stapled to the right inside with a blank cover sheet labeled “clearance”
- Document to be signed on top with enclosure/attachments
- Deliver the Package to EA
- EA will score for completeness, formatting and compliance.
- If changes are needed EA will return to the XO
- Return to EA when changes are made
- When signed:
- EA staff will notify your office
- Your office distributes the correspondence
- Evaluate your work:
- Compare original to final in Lotus notes
- Use score sheet
Training Worth Taking
- Available at Commerce Learning Center
- Crisp Composition - (4.5 hrs.)
- Sentence Construction – (2.0 hrs)
- Avoiding grammatical errors in business writing – (4.5 hrs)