Effective email communication


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  • Think before starting to write.
  • Professors get dozens of emails every day. Don’t make it hard for them
  • You can set multiple signatures, one for personal and one for professional
  • Universities have official requirements to store and archive emails
  • Effective email communication

    1. 1. •Effective Email CommunicationTopic •One HourPlanned Duration •Open Type of Interaction •Management Sciences Area of Knowledge
    2. 2. Pre- Evaluation •Test Audience knowledge about the topic Introduction •Brief history of Email •Email Communications - Etiquette Topic Discussion •Topic in detail •Evaluation
    3. 3. What does Email mean ? What does effective mean ? Email; Formal or Informal When should we write Email
    4. 4. Email – as a Noun • (computer science) a system of world-wide electronic communication in which a computer user can compose a message at one terminal that is generated at the recipient's terminal when he logs in Email – as a verb • communicate electronically on the computer
    5. 5. Adequate to accomplish a purpose; producing the intended or expected result: effective teaching methods. In operation or in force; functioning; operative: The law becomes effective at midnight. Producing a deep or vivid impression; striking: an effective photograph.
    6. 6. •General or Specific •Official or Social •Formal or Informal •Can be formal or informal Culture Business Norms Subject Matter Parties Involved
    7. 7. If the communication will require a lot of back- and-forth discussion or if the subject is delicate or sensitive you should call or speak with the person directly If a discussion is becoming emotionally charged, stop exchanging emails. Speak to the person directly to clear up any misunderstandings. If the subject line does not match the content of email thread. Stop sending/forwarding
    8. 8. In 1975 John Vital developed some software to organize email. By 1976 email had really taken off, and commercial packages began to appear. Within a couple of years, 75% of all ARPANET traffic was email. Tomlinson worked for Bolt Beranek and Newman as an ARPANET contractor. He picked the @ symbol from the computer keyboard to denote sending messages from one computer to another. Ray Tomlinson is credited with inventing email in 1972 Probably the first email system of this type was MAILBOX, used at Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1965. Another early program to send messages on the same computer was called SNDMSG. Email is much older than Arpanet or the Internet. It was never invented; it evolved from very simple beginnings.
    9. 9. 10 1. Vague or nonexistent subject line. 2. Changing the topic without changing the subject. 3. Including multiple subjects in one note. 4. Sending before thinking. 5. Inadvertent replying to all. 6. Omitting the context of a reply. 7. Shooting the messenger. 8. Misaddressed recipients. 9. Displaying addresses of recipients who are strangers to each other. 10. Replying vs. forwarding.
    10. 10.  Consider all Email communication to be business communication.  Remember – ◦ The Recipient may not be able to decipher tone of the communication. ◦ Avoid using too many abbreviations, acronyms. ◦ Don‘t use very bright colors ◦ Don‘t highlight or underline unless it is really necessary.  DON‘T SHOUT IN CAPITALS
    11. 11. Address Fields Subject Line Contents /Body Attachment/s Signature
    12. 12.  Send your message to the right person. ◦ To = Main recipient, who will take action ◦ CC = Other people who should be informed ◦ BC = Silent observers  Task Assignment  When assigning a task in an e-mail, be clear about which recipient is responsible for completing the task.  Enter the addressee last Avoid sending an incomplete message.
    13. 13.  An Effective Subject line contains ◦ Clarity ◦ Descriptive ◦ Critical information
    14. 14. Use Smart Subject Lines All messages should have clear and specific ―Subject Lines‖ that − describe the message content − specify if there are any AR‘s & due dates − are clear who the message is for Subject Line Template: TAG description [action] [due dates] [(EOM)]
    15. 15. Use Smart Subject Lines, cont… − Good Subject Line Examples − FYI ONLY: Meeting minutes from 3/14 discussion − WSR: Joe Smith – Operations WW17 − ARs Included: Minutes from MRC, all ARs due Friday 4/1 − DISTRIBUTE: Program POR updated & related information − Bob, Joe: need you at noon meeting Wed w/ your updates − AGENDA: Staff meeting Thurs 3/12 10:00 Rm: HF4-123 − Mary: I will attend the WW FTF & present summary. (EOM) Poor Subject Line Examples − Weekly Minutes − Here are the URLs − Re: presentation − (blank subject line) − Unrelated subject line – sending an email with an old subject line that does not relate to this message TAG description [action] [due dates] [(EOM)]
    16. 16. Use Smart Subject Lines, cont… If you can type your entire message in the subject line and don‘t need to write anything in the body of the message - do so! Type (EOM) at the end of the subject line to tell your recipient there is no message in the body of the email. EOM means ―end of message‖ Bob, are you going to lunch Friday? (EOM) I agree with Dan’s contract proposals and will sign them today (EOM) Jeff, Kim: schedule meeting with me to discuss deployment (EOM)
    17. 17. HP CONFIDENTIAL 18 Recommended Standards collected from various group implementations Subject Line Tags - Required − WSR- Weeklies − MSR- Monthly Other Recommended Subject Line Tags: − URG- Stop everything, read me first − HOT- Need immediate attention − RSP- Need you to respond, either way − MTG- New/modified meetings − FWD- Forward to your respective group(s) − HLP- Need information, assistance with a problem − FYI- Just for your information − ACT- Needs action
    18. 18. Subject: Date: Re: Question about Smith paper (was: please help with this!) 10:11 am Change subject lines when necessary
    19. 19. Subject: Date: Re: Re: Re: [Fwd: [Fwd: [hrfac] Reminder: Deadline for Spring Semester Is Jan. 15]] 9:17 am Remove extra email prefixes
    20. 20. Subject: Thanks for the help today! <eom> Got your message <nm> Today’s group meeting canceled <ssia> <end of message> <no message> <subject says it all>
    21. 21. Consider following while writing Email • Is this truly the correct person to contact? • What is my goal? • Should this conversation be held in person or over the phone? Use a polite and respectful greeting and closing
    22. 22.  Use topic sentences  One topic per email  Provide important dates or references  Put each action or point on its own line
    23. 23.  Write in standard professional English with Capitalization and correct spelling.  Don‘t try to impress.  Avoid chat speak, e.g., CUL8R & emoticons,  Be concise.  Avoid long sentences  Use proper grammar & spelling.  In Replies try to answer all questions  ―Pre-empt‖ Follow-up Questions  Don‘t request Delivery & Read receipts  Don‘t forward chain letter emails  Use paragraphs (5 sentences each)
    24. 24. 25  Quote back selectively when replying to long messages. ◦ ―Yes, I agree.‖ is useless without context. ◦ Top quote vs. bottom quote – no consensus. ◦ Avoid ―Fisking,‖ replying line by line in an argumentative manner.  For URL links use SNIPURL to shorten long URLs or enclose in < >. ◦ Free service http://snipurl.com/
    25. 25. 26  Identify yourself clearly to cold contacts. ◦ Hello, I am…The reason I am writing… ◦ Hello, so-in-so suggested I contact you…  Respond Promptly. ◦ Apologize if you don‘t. ◦ Interim reply when too busy.  Don‘t shoot the messenger.
    26. 26. 27 ◦ Use sparingly. ◦ Cut and paste relevant parts of attachment into text of Email. ◦ Use URL links instead. ◦ Upload attachments to website and cite URL. ◦ http://www.scribd.com/ is a free service. ◦ Recipients who do not know you may be reluctant to open attachments or click URLs.
    27. 27. 28  Post attachment first to avoid ―Oops, here‘s the attachment.‖  Trend is posting large attachments into blogs followed by Email announcement. ◦ Gives people a chance to comment on attachment without a series of ―Reply All‖ messages. ◦ Those interested can check comments or use RSS feed to be notified.
    28. 28.  Use an appropriate signature  Brief (4-5 lines)  Informative provide all contact information  Professional do not include pictures, quotes, animations
    29. 29. 30  Include (if you want people to contact you) ◦ Your name ◦ Title ◦ Organization ◦ Email address (especially on listservs) ◦ Website ◦ Phones  Can be shortened for frequent correspondents or placed in header of Email stationery.
    30. 30. 31  If you must include a quote in signature keep it short.  ―This message is intended for…‖ ◦ Clutters up Email. ◦ Often longer than message. ◦ Omit unless your company requires it.  Avoid vCards because some readers treat them as attachments.
    31. 31. Think Before You Click Don‘t automatically ―REPLY TO ALL‖. − Do all the people on the original disty list really need to see your reply, or just the originator of the message. Take one last look at your distribution list – is this email necessary for all recipients. − Most people don‘t have time to read email that is not important to their jobs. Just because their name was on the original distribution list for a discussion, doesn‘t mean they need to continue in that email discussion. − Once the email discussion goes beyond 2-3 replies anyway, it‘s time to pick up the phone
    32. 32. Write For Action In the first 1-3 lines of your email, specify what this email is about. − Does it include Actions Required − Does it require a reply back by a certain date. − What information is contained that the reader will find necessary for their job. A huge amount of time is wasted on email that is not clear. If you want your email to generate action, then be clear and up front about it!
    33. 33.  Emails are permanent  Emails are searchable  All laws governing copyright, defamation, discrimination and other forms of written communication also apply to email.  If a reply is not required, end your message with ―(Reply Not Necessary)‖
    34. 34. HP CONFIDENTIAL 35 Quality Communications Email is not the right communication tool when ―quick response‖ is needed − It‘s highly likely you will miss important deadlines − Don‘t change meeting logistics a few hours before a meeting and send email as the only notification. − Don‘t request critical ARs that are due in a few hours and expect the recipient to get it done. − Send your presentation materials well in advance of a meeting. Use email to convey non-sensitive or non-emotional information. − You want to save time, not create situations where more time-consuming explanations will be required. − Email can NOT replace the effectiveness of a short, real-time discussion with all the right participants. − Ask yourself, will a phone call be more effective?
    35. 35. 36  Forwarding stuff, e.g., chain letters ◦ Avoid; annoys most people. ◦ Check address list before forwarding a ‖Did you see this?‖ - They may have received it. ◦ Use http://www.snopes.com/ to check urban legends. ◦ If you must forward, strip out addresses and use BCC to hide your address list.
    36. 36. 37  Chill out! ◦ Avoid sending a snarky reply to a pissy Email. ◦ Wait 24 hours. ◦ Write, but don‘t send. ◦ Don‘t reply at all and let them wonder. ◦ Offer to speak by phone or in person; Email is not a good tool for ―clearing the air.‖
    37. 37. 38  Chill out (contd.) ◦ Leave no record of sensitive or emotional responses. ◦ Never say in Email what you wouldn‘t say in person or would not like to see in the press or defend in court. ◦ Once you hit ―Send‖ you have lost control of the Email.  You can never be certain that it was erased from all locations. Think of all Email as Permanent.
    38. 38. 39  Organize Email into folders. ◦ Use company file plan for in-house Email.  Keep a copy of all sent Email.  Review and clean out folders periodically. ◦ Good for rainy day or slow day at work. ◦ Comply with company retention schedule.  Don‘t print Email unless you need to refer to it remotely.
    39. 39. 40 1. Calvin Sun. ―10 common e-mail habits that waste time and cause problems.‖ [Online] July 2007. http://downloads.techrepublic.com.com/dow nload.aspx?docid=302381 2. Author unknown. ―Effective Email – How to communicate powerfully by email.‖ [Online] Downloaded November 2007. http://www.mindtools.com/CommSkll/EmailC ommunication.htm 3. Ellen Dowling, PhD. ―10 Tips for Effective E- mail.‖ [Online] Downloaded November 2007. http://www.mindtools.com/email.html
    40. 40. 41 4. Gene Wicker, Jr. ―E-Mail Etiquette.‖ [Online] January 2005. http://iwillfollow.com/emailetiquette.pdf 5. Jessica Bauer and Dennis G. Jerz. ―Writing Effective E-Mail: Top 10 Tips.‖ [Online] August 2004. http://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/e- text/e-mail.htm 6. Guy Kawasaki. ―The Effective Emailer.‖ [Online] February 2006. http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2006/02/the_e ffective_e.html
    41. 41. 42 7. Amit Agarwal. ―Never Forget To Include Email Attachments.‖ [Online] April 2007. http://labnol.blogspot.com/2007/04/never- forget-to-include-email.html 8. Kirk Shinkle. ―Running an Office by Wiki and E-Mail.‖ [Online] February 2008. http://www.usnews.com/articles/business/s mall-business- entrepreneurs/2008/02/28/running-an- office-by-wiki-and-e-mail.html
    42. 42. 43 9. Brenda R. Sharton and Gregory J. Lyons. ―The Risks of E-Mail Communication: A Guide to Protecting Privileged Electronic Communications.‖ [Online] September 2007. http://www.abanet.org/buslaw/blt/2007-09- 10/lyons.shtml 10. Author unknown. ―The 25 Most Common Mistakes in Email Security.‖ [Online] Downloaded March 2008. http://www.itsecurity.com/features/25- common-email-security-mistakes-022807/ 11. Author unknown. ―Email etiquette.‖ [Online] Downloaded March 2008. http://www.emailreplies.com/
    43. 43. 44 12. Jason Krause. ―Law Hacks: 101 tips, tricks and tools to make you a more productive, less stressed-out lawyer.‖ [Online] July 2007. http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/law_ha cks/ 13. Jason Krause. ―Eek is for E-Mail: You can manage the mess of messages—but first let go of the paper.‖ [Online] May 2007. http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/eek_is _for_e_mail/ 14. David Beckman and David Hirsch. ―Thumb- Thing Good: For road warriors: trailer-size space in a finger-size ‗trunk‘.‖ [Online] May 2007. http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/thumb _thing_good/
    44. 44. 45 15. Tony Bradley. ―Why You Should Encrypt Your Email.‖ [Online] Downloaded March 2007. http://netsecurity.about.com/cs/emailsecurit y/a/aa051004.htm 16. ARMA Intl Standards Committee. ―Working Collaboratively in an Electronic World.‖ 2007 (available for download from ARMA Bookstore) 17. ARMA Intl Pamphlet. ―What Do I Do with All This e-Mail?‖ [Online sample] 2007 http://www.arma.org/pdf/BKEmailHowTo.pdf 18. Author unknown. ―Citing Internet Resources.‖ [Online] Downloaded March 2007. http://www.classroom.com/community/conn ection/howto/citeresources.jhtml