At the end of Better Business Writing class on Monday, Melissa checked her email. While she was a participant in the class, she had received about 100 messages--not as many as usual, she said, since a lot of people had skipped work because of the ice and snow in...
This week I received an email with the subject "INV5006687.pdf." It came from someone I do not know at a company whose name I didn't recognize, and it included an attachment. It stood out as junk, a message to delete. But as my right pinkie stretched to the Delete...
Last week I led a class in Vancouver, British Columbia, for a group of IT (Information Technology) folks. They work in Vancouver for a company headquartered near Seattle. Right now you may be wondering what a group of IT people in Vancouver have to do with the smell in...
Something has gone terribly wrong in email. To understand it, imagine this scenario: An employee walks into a manager's office a dozen times a day, asking, "Is this okay?" and "Do you approve of this?" He or she also stops by, saying, "I just want you to know about...
On Monday I emailed my friend Melissa about getting together for lunch. I wrote, "I can get together any day except Friday." She wrote back, "Great! I'll come to your office on Friday." A while ago, I was asked to have a teleconference with several doctors. I emailed Chris, the...
A friend emailed me a follow-up message a sales representative had sent her. I have typed it below. What is your impression of the writer?thank you for the rapid response I am grateful for the follow up. as far as information, I sending you an up coming schedule of...
A Canadian reader raised a valuable question about an email behavior that seems unprofessional to him. The questionable business writing practice is sending emails in which the subject states the whole, or nearly the whole, message. Here are two examples: Subject: Can you please order toner for the printer?...
Dear Reader, If I knew your name, I would use it--either with the greeting "Dear" or in the first sentence of any message I write to you. The same would be true if I phoned you. I would say hello and use your name in the first words out...
Is it appropriate to use email to fire someone? Would you like to learn that your job has been eliminated from a few typed words on a monitor screen? Last week RadioShack Corporation used email to inform 403 employees that their jobs had been eliminated, according to an article...
Last week I taught Email Intelligence for a favorite client company. When I asked for additions to my 25 rules for email etiquette and efficiency, I got eight good suggestions. Here, with my elaboration, is an excellent suggestion to make email more efficient for your reader: When you send an...