Monday, February 10, 2014

PRactical: Email Etiquette

Here at Under PRessure, we're always learning the ins and outs of the industry, and we want to share those tips with you! This feature is PRactical advice for interning and working in the PR world.

We've always thought that there should be a class or seminar on email protocol. It's surprising how many people either don't know what constitutes a general, professional email or don't know when it's appropriate to change up the format.

Between sending out emails to professors, prospective employers or editors, we've picked up a bit of practical info. Let's start at the top.

This might be common sense, but the very last thing we do is fill in the "to:" field. You just never know if your computer will glitch and an email will send without being finished. Not exactly professional.

Next is the subject line. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. This field is where your recipient determines whether to save, open or trash (or even junk!) your email. Make your subject is catchy while also including necessary information. As one of our PR profs once told us, if you want a reply ASAP, make your subject line "Quick Question." Be aware, though, that this is for someone you know fairly well and is a more casual starter.

Now, onto the actual body of the message. Try to be as polite but as creative as possible. For example, if you are writing to a company but you're not sure who it goes to, stray from the predictable "To Whom It May Concern:" opener.

Try, "Dear Team [Company]" or "Good Morning/Afternoon [Company] Team". Even a simple "Hello" will suffice, depending on the formality of your correspondence.

Try to keep exclamation points or bits of computerized flair to a minimum. If you're corresponding with someone in a creative field or someone you know well, these rules are a bit more lenient. Always err on the side of caution, and pick up on the cues of the client/editor/other party.

Always double check for grammar and spelling in your emails. We can't tell you how many times we've encountered emails without any capitalization or punctuation.

We hope these tips are helpful, and would love to answer any further questions you may have! Leave a comment or tweet us with questions or tips of your own to @UndrPrssr.

Until next time,

Your Girls Under PRessure

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