Are Your Emails Damaging Your Reputation?January 7th 2014 Sally Ormond email writing, Internal communications, reputation management
Your emails say a lot about you.
But how much thought do you give to the words you use when communicating with other people in your company?
Probably not a lot.
After all, you’re just writing to someone within your own company, so it doesn’t matter, right? I mean. if you were writing a piece for some marketing material it would be a different kettle of fish.
That seems to be the thought process for many people.
Many of the emails I receive (be they enquiries, looking for work or unsolicited mail shots) show a surprising lack in regard for how the writer comes across.
Granted the emails I get are from people looking for a copywriter, but at times the layout makes them difficult to read and many haven’t been read through before being sent.
Getting back to internal communications, these are normally emails asking for information, spreading news, informing about meetings etc. Perhaps, by some, these are viewed as necessary rather than important, but how they are written still says a lot about you as a person.
If you are sending an email out to your whole team (it could be 2 or 3 people or it could be hundreds), your attention to detail (i.e. spelling, grammar and layout) will all have an effect on their perception of you.
As a leader you’re expected to be methodical, eloquent and inspiring so it’s essential you think before you write.
Tips for writing great emails
1. Brief but friendly
Waffling emails that go on and on without actually getting to the point are annoying. But that doesn’t mean to say you have to be blunt.
Make sure the most important information is at the top and, if it is going to cover several points, list them so they are easy to identify.
Also watch the tone of your email. When it’s for business it’s very easy to be dry and boring. You can still inject some personality, but avoid jokes and flippant remarks, as they may not come across well in writing.
Long emails without plenty of breaks are awful to read.
Keep your paragraphs short and sentences simple and avoid jargon. Yes, your colleagues will probably understand it, but it will make your email really boring and corporate.
3. Read through
Always read your email carefully before hitting send because once it’s gone, it’s gone. Check for typos and grammar issues along with whether it actually makes sense or not.
You may think this is all common sense, but just take a look at your in box and see how many people are not doing any of these things.
Using simple language, a clear layout and paying attention to detail will help you communicate clearer with your team leading to greater efficiency and productivity.
It may be a small thing, but it does make a big difference.