Correspondence simply means letters sent or received. Another word for “Correspondence” is “Mail”. In our offices and Businesses, We receive letters, parcels, telegrams, internal memos, fax, e-mail, text messages or SMS (Short Message Service) and other documents which we all know as mail or correspondence.
Correspondence records are those documents used to keep track of correspondences in an organization. They show evidence of important transactions, letters, reasons for writing and those involved, dates, addresses, e-mails and other important messages.
TYPES OF CORRESPONDENCE
There are three main types of correspondence, they are:
- In-coming mails
- Out-going mails
- Postage book.
1. In-Coming Mails: These are letters that comes into an organization. In-coming correspondence will reach the records offices in a number of different ways. Some will come through the regular post office or other courier services, like, DHL,UPS etc. Other in-coming mails could come via e-mail, or with the growth in technology, through text messaging:- Short Message Service (SMS) or Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS).
Examples of In-Coming Mails are:
Computer printouts e.g. e-mail or other data
METHODS OF MAIL DELIVERY
Mails or letters can be delivered either by post or by hand to the recipients in two ways:
a. Delivery by Post: People pay for a private mail box or bag in the post office where their mails are deposited safely and locked till the owner comes (to the post office) with the keys to pick up mails. The post man also delivers received mails to the appropriate addresses with authority from the post office management.
b. Delivery by Hand: The mails that can be delivered by hand include letters, circulars, memos, handbills, notices of different sizes etc. The mails must be handled with care, so that the recipient will receive it without complaint and in time too. All mails are sorted out first in the mail room before being distributed to the appropriate persons or organization(S).
2. Out-Going Mails: These are mails that are going out of or from the organization. The secretary or clerk in the office handles such mails with care and treats them with the urgency required. In smaller organizations, the receptionist can also see to it that such mails are handled appropriately and accountability and reference.
Examples of out-going mails are letters, parcels, computer printouts like e-mail, SMS, memos, telegrams, and other related mails.
3. Postage Book: This is a book which records accurate and full details of mails and other documents that need postage. The book contains the exact amounts of postage stamps used on the mails, date and address.
USES OF CORRESPONDENCE RECORDS
They are used:
1. For evidence of receiving and attending to mails.
2. To shoe the correct date a mail was received.
3. To record information about the content(s) of mails.
4. To show how the issue in context was handled by the organization. Tells whether an answer has been given or not.
5. To show exactly what agreement was made and the date of the decision.
6. It confirms delivery of mails.
7. It shows the origin of the mail and who or unit it was addressed to.
CLASSIFICATION OF CORRESPONDENCE RECORDS
- Inward Book or Inward Register
- Outward Book or Outward Register
- Dispatch Book