I have posted a similar blog in the past, but there are some new additions based on questions and feedback I received from many of you regarding the etiquette when using ‘reply all’ or ‘copy’ in an email. This issue is tackled in this blog!

1. Remember: email is not private. Once it’s out there – it’s out there. Always use your discretion.

2. Use the Bulletin Board Rule: if you can’t put it on a bulletin board for anyone to see, then don’t put it in print.

3. If a situation is difficult, don’t use email or other online methods to deal with it. Always speak directly to the person or call the person by phone.

4. Emails should be friendly, but not familiar – keep it professional. Always defer to the formal, especially in how you address your email.

5. Make sure you address your email to the correct person – fill in the ‘to’ section at the end once you have completed a final review and approval of your email.

6. Be selective when using ‘reply all’ or ‘copying’ people on an email. Treat the ‘reply all’ field as you would the ‘to’ field – use it for the people you are actually speaking to in the email. The ‘copy’ field is used when you want people to benefit from reading your email – but could get along without doing so. Before you use ‘reply all’ or ‘copy’ – pause and consider who really needs to read your email.

7. Take care with spelling and the description in the ‘subject’ field. The subject line is the first thing the recipient sees. Make sure you leave them with a good impression – if you can’t spell, they may assume you are sloppy, unprofessional, or have no eye for detail.

8. Don’t use emoticons – this may be fine for personal communications but not for business.

9. Don’t use text speak – LOL, BTW – in email; it is unprofessional.

10. Keep messages brief and to the point.

11. Use complete sentences.

12. Close your email in a professional manner, such as ‘Kind Regards’ or ‘Sincerely.’

13. Your signature line should include yours and your organization’s contact information.

14. Remember that everything you communicate speaks volumes about you and your organization’s overall image and brand – so check your spelling, grammar and punctuation before you hit ‘send.’

Erin Crotty is the Founder & Director of BloomStra Consulting. As a certified and trained expert in business etiquette and professional image managment she leads dynamic, interactive and informative training, workshops and coaching to individuals, businesses, professional associations and universities. She helps her clients outclass their competition and transform into world class leaders.

Have questions? Want to learn more? For a complimentary 1/2 hour consultation, contact Erin at ecrotty@bloomstraconsulting.ca, 613-614-4540 or visit www.bloomstraconsulting.ca.