Saturday, December 6, 2014

How's your email etiquette?

While texting has mostly replaced emailing for most students, email continues to be the most dependable, archivable (and campus-official) way of communicating online. That's why I think it's important to know and practice professional email behavior.

Here are some of the rules I follow:
• When I receive an email sent only to me, I try to reply as soon as I read it. If it asks me to do something, I reply by saying whether I'm willing to do it and when I might get to it. This rule doesn't apply to email sent to a large group, which may or may not require a response.
• I always respond in a way that wouldn't embarrass me, The Orion or Chico State if someone, say a reporter, made a public records request for my emails.
• If I'm writing to someone I don't know (rather than replying to an email), I identify myself in some way. I should (but haven't) set up an email signature, which would do that work for me.
• If I need an immediate answer to a question, I use the phone instead. Some people (like me) are on email several times a day, but many are not.
• When I was reporting, I wouldn't use email to conduct an interview. Sources send back information that sounds like it's written rather than spoken, so it's basically unusable for direct quotations. If I need a quick fact or confirmation, though, I might use email (though the phone or a text is better because it's likely to be read right away).

Want to make your own list of rules? Check out the list of 25 email best practices Lindsay Silberman put together for

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