Emails Are perhaps the most common and widely-distributed forms of communication in workplaces today Generally transmit smaller “chunks” of information Are frequently internal documents about specific company information
Short Internal andExternal Documents Consider appropriate audience choices. Consider the proper tone and degree of formality. Use appropriate openings and closings to show respect and develop relationships. Provide enough background information for your audience.
Problem Solving in Short Messages Plan by considering the problem, rather than replying hastily Research facts and details needed to make your message useful Organize using the limited space Revise for clarity Distribute in the most effective medium
Privacy Issues withShort Messages Poor or ill-chosen messages have legs—they seem to wind up going where they were not meant to go. Workplace writers must remember that e-mail is not a private means of communication. Email messages always have the potential to become public.
Subject Lines Subject lines are often scanned by recipients to decide which should be read immediately and which can be read later or deleted. When writing subject lines, you should: Make them concise and specific Put the most important information first Use all caps only in times of urgency
Recipients Recipients should be carefully considered before sending or carbon copying (CC). “Reply to All” is not always appropriate. When replying, quote a sentence or two to give recipient some context. Ask permission before forwarding a message.
Content and Length Keep messages brief and to-the-point Provide pertinent information only Quickly state a reason for writing Allow the message be skimmed easily Keep the message to a single screen
Paragraphs and Spacing Paragraphs should be no longer than a single screen Email paragraphs are more concise than those in printed documents Some paragraphs can be as short as one sentence, if the information is important Use block format
Other Formatting Issues Avoid font styling, bulleted and numbered lists, tables, graphics, and visuals Use CAPITAL LETTERS to designate a heading Use a single line of white space between each phrase or word to designate a list Use *asterisks* on either side of a word to designate emphasis or italics Use underscore characters at the beginning and ending of an _underlined passage_
Signatures Signatures can give contact information about the sender, such as: Job title Phone Fax Webpage URL Mailing information Whether you use a signature or not, always include your name at the bottom of each e-mail
Attachments Use attachments when: The message is lengthy Formatting is important Visuals are an important part of the message The message will be printed and used for some particular purpose Refer to the attachment in the actual email Minimize use of graphics and visuals
Choosing BetweenEmail and Memos Email Large audience addressed Rapid responses needed Audience geographically distant Message will be revised or modified Memos Longer than one computer screen Message requires careful formatting contains detailed visuals Contains sensitive or important information