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Corporate Guide to Creating Emails
Jul 20, 2005, 09:15

The currency of the new age is email, what you say and how you say it can be up to individual interpretation.

Writing in email in a corporate setting takes this communication to a new level. Email is different than voicemail or even speaking in a meeting. If something is misconstrued in a meeting the recipient can ask for clarification and have a meaningful dialog. Spoken communication is something people understand.

In a corporate setting crafting an email, who you send it to and who you cc or bcc can mean the difference between the lunch line and the unemployment line.

Follow these tips to stay on the straight and narrow...

Caps Lock: OFF
It's okay to use all-caps for headings and/or titles in your messages, or even to EMPHASIZE certain words, but anything beyond that is equivalent to screaming at someone. Do you like being yelled at?

Short and Sweet
If you can say it in three words, say it in three words. As a general rule, noone reads on the web, specifically no one wants to read your diatribe on why the TPR report didn’t have a cover sheet.

A good rule of thumb for multiple items is to separate them with bullets or blank lines. It makes the whole text easy to digest in small bites.

Corporate Signature
If you include you name, title and phone number people can contact you more easily. It also lets people know a little bit about who you are specific to your company.

Slug Trail
When you reply to emails take a good look at the history (all the stuff at the bottom of the email) and make sure forwarding all that slime is relevant.

Reply To, CC, BCC
Did you get BCC’d to this email that you are forwarding? Maybe it’s a problem sending it around. If you are BCC’d (Blind Carbon Copied) there’s usually a good reason. This may just be an FYI email.

CC, or Carbon Copy, shows the world (the world of that email) that you’re included in the distribution list, but watch out when replying to all.

Looking stupid to the entire company
If you’ve been in a company for any length of time you’ve received an corporate email that is send to everyone, and you have inevitably gotten the dim bulb (or two or three) that have replied to all with a simple message.

In this instance there are two morons involved. The first is the original sender who isn’t smart enough to BCC these type of emails so the second moron can’t show his gray matter deficiency, who does the reply to all. Saying something stupid in the email response just compounds the offence.

LOL, IMHO this is bad. While LOL, or Laughing out Loud is now common others are not, especially with older emailers. IMHO (in my humble opinion) you should be aware if audience already knows what they stand for.

Good I write, yea?
Your writing style says more about you than you realize. While e-mail might be viewed as an informal means of communication, your e-composition skills are still quite reflective of your knowledge and abilities.

Use a descriptive subject line. You do this for a couple of reasons, firstly so people read it, secondly so people can easily find your words later. The last (and maybe the most important) is so it has less of a chance to get caught by the spam filter.