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Email and Your Corporate Mission

Yesterday someone visited this site with an interesting search. The words in the person’s query were “linking mission statements with email etiquette.”

Those words immediately got my attention. What do mission statements have to do with email?

I think there’s a strong link. The link may not be obvious in the typical one-sentence mission statements of organizations. But in the longer “Mission and Goals” sections we see statements like these:

  1. We strive for positive results.
  2. We use best practices to complete our jobs effectively.
  3. We are aligned with company strategies and goals.

Those statements have everything to do with email etiquette. Positive results, best practices, strategies–all are linked with effective, professional, time-saving email.

Do you see a clear connection?

If I write crisp, clear email that inspires quick action, I have worked toward the company mission. On the other hand, if I write long, confusing email that leads to the exchange of five more messages, I’m wasting resources and making everyone who is involved less effective.

If I write email that is positive and focused on solutions, I am aligned with company goals. But if I write a slightly sarcastic message that focuses on problems, I am wasting time and energy.

If I write error-free email with clear, complete sentences, readers inside and outside the organization can focus on my message, whether that message is to inform, inspire, or sell. However, if I send the message to the wrong person, misspell the name of the product, use undefined acronyms, or leave out an important part of a sentence, my readers get distracted trying to figure out what I might have meant. They may decide that it’s easier to simply ignore me.

Yes! Email intelligence and etiquette are at the heart of achieving our mission and goals. Effective communication is the lifeblood of our organizations. If we can’t use email effectively (as the primary form of communication today), we are crippling our organizations and ourselves.

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By Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact.

A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors.

A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media.

Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English.