If you were face-to-face with an employee, would you scream, "Send me that report in five minutes!"? If not, then you shouldn't do it through e-mail either. Some people tend to forget the rules of proper etiquette when staring at an inanimate screen, but e-etiquette plays a very important role in today's business world. Here are some tips to keep in mind before you click the Send button:

:-(   DON'T SHOUT! In computer language, using all Caps is equivalent to yelling at the recipient. If this is not your intention, then use the Caps Lock sparingly.

:-o   Pay attention to grammar, spelling and punctuation. Your writing is a representation of yourself. If you wouldn't tolerate misspellings in a letter with your signature, keep those same standards in mind when you e-mail. The Spelling and Grammar check takes only a second, and it makes lyfe a lot eazyer for thoose reading you're mesages!

{:-]  Be brief. Reading from a monitor places a strain on the eyes. E-mail is an effective means to get short messages across quickly. But if the subject is lengthy, add an attachment or consider another form of communication, such as a phone call or fax.

<:-I Add your own personal flavor. E-mail is less formal than other means of communication, so it's acceptable to say "hi" and "bye." And if your employees are doing a superior job, feel free to give them a smile :-)!

:-1   Limit sarcasm. Remember, the recipient can't see your expression and may misinterpret your frame of mind. Some things are best left for face-to-face contact.

Berry Associates Public Relations, Inc. has over 25 years of experience in communicating effectively to employees. Give us a call so we can help you get the right message across - every time. ;-)