126: Writing an Officer Report

Portuguese: 126 : Escrevendo um Relatório Oficial

Introduction

Keeping a good record of events that take place in the MES serves several purposes: it helps your memory, it gives other officers in your chain see what is going on at your level and it helps whoever ends up replacing you to see what has come before them.

When writing a report for the office you hold in the MES, the most important things you can do are be correct and concise.  Those above you in the chain of command are eager to hear about the status of your level of the organization, but extra details can be as harmful to their jobs as details which are left out.

This document is to help officers, both Storytellers and Coordinators, write clear, correct and concise reports.

Format

The first step is to make sure you have the correct and current format for a report for your office.  These can both be found on the MES Website, or at [ add info here ].

It is important that the proper format be used because those above you in the chain will be looking at many such reports, and if they are looking for a certain line in your report about, for instance, how much prestige was awarded for charity drives, precious time can be lost digging through a report not matching the format the reader was expecting.

This will also help ensure that you have all of the correct information in the next step, and that you do not add too many unnecessary things.

Content

Now that you have your proper format, make sure you have all the data you will need to fill out the report.  Some officers can create whole reports from memory, especially in small venues or chapters, while others feel better taking notes of everything that should be in the report.  If you don’t know which method will work for you, err on the side of taking notes until you feel more comfortable with either method, or one of your own.

Your report format is divided into several categories.  Some of the data might need to be filed in multiple areas – go ahead and do that.  It will save time if the same information is in both places instead of having to cross reference everything.

In the odd case that you have nothing to report in a given part of the report format, let that be known.  A note of, “Nothing to report in this area.” is better than a blank space.

Clarity

Much like a large blank space, a large block of text can also distract a reader from your report.  A wall of text describing an aspect of your performance as an officer should be avoided where a bulleted list could suffice.

It will come to pass that the best way to convey your idea, concern or question is to write in a more full and proper form.  When this happens, try to keep the paragraphs short for easy digestion, and avoid suppositions or hyperbole.  Mostly, the officers higher in the chain need facts and figures.  Should you really want to give an opinion on a matter, set aside some space in the report for an editorial comment rather than in the middle  of a statement of facts.

Details about Officer Reports

For more information about the ST Officer Reports including examples of each sections, please click here.

For more information about the Coordinator Officer Reports including examples of each sections, please click here.

Conclusion

Following these general guidelines, you can get into a pattern of effective reporting for your position in the club that will help your fellow officers accomplish their goals and see the entire club run more efficiently, leaving us more time to have fun!