Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Email Policy

I did my first Masters thesis on "Flaming in Computer-Mediated Communication" which was a fun topic. Flaming is the propensity for people to butt heads in email and other computer-based communication. It happens because email is stripped of all the important softening cues of face-to-face communication. That's why emoticons (e.g., :-) ) help to put the emotion back into what can sometimes be a cold medium.

Meg and I have developed an email understanding over the years but now it's time to share this understanding with Rena our new marketing assistant. Wow. We must be getting bigger - we need an email policy! ;-)

Here is the Trexy/Turbo10 email policy:
  • Efficient email is the name of the game.
  • Don't send an email if possible. Emails take time to type and time to read. If it's important, pick up the phone or take a note of it and mention it at the next face-to-face meeting. Contentious topics are best left for face-to-face meetings.
  • Limit the CC list. Only carbon copy those that need to know.
  • Be brief, positive and clear.
  • Send subject-only emails. Prefix the subject with ">". This convention means the recipient doesn't need to open the email (e.g., "> Out to lunch. See you soon! ").
  • Don't open an attachment unless you trust it.
  • When you write an email save the contents as a template - reuse email templates where possible.
  • Take pride in what you've written. Check spelling and grammar before sending.
  • Messages in public forums are for prosterity so take extra care.
  • Make things as easy as possible for the recipient. If you want the recipient to do something include all the information they need in the email and a clear call-to-action.
  • Treat others like you want to be treated. Put yourself in the position of the recipient. How would you feel if you received the email you're about to send?

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