In an effort to make it stick, I am announcing my New Year’s resolution for my own business writing:
Before I click Send, I resolve to reread or scan the email I am replying to.
I am motivated by yesterday’s embarrassment. A woman from a huge company emailed me asking for information about my services–specifically about "brown bags." (Note to readers around the globe: A brown bag is a short presentation or seminar at which participants may eat their lunch–thus the brown [lunch] bags.) To give her the right information, I needed to ask her a few questions, and I needed to do this in email since she did not include her phone number.
Among the four questions I included in my reply was one asking for her location. Only after I clicked Send did I notice that she had mentioned her location in her message–and in her subject line.
My excuse is the head cold I have had this week. But I must admit that all I had to do was glance once more at her message before I sent mine. I would have realized she had already told me her location–twice.
So that’s my resolution. I’m going to reread or scan each original message before I reply.
What are your resolutions for good business writing in 2007? I would love to read them.