So often we see good intentions lost in email, transformed into a bag of mixed messages that has the receiver perplexed.  Is this person angry with me? Why are they being so aggressive?! As an account manager at a consumer PR agency, I am very aware of how I communicate with my clients.

If you would think twice before turning your back to someone, or waving your hand in their face while they were speaking to you, then you should definitely pay some extra attention to your email p’s and q’s.

Some of the biggest email offences can be minor in form, but major in effect – stirring up quite the emotional response from the receiver.  Here are a few of my favourites:

1.     The curt introduction – no “hi” or “hello”

I have reviewed the document and …

Real world equivalent:  acknowledging someone with the raise of an eyebrow and proceeding to make a demand without saying hello.

2.     Even worse, the curt introduction with a full stop instead of a comma

I have reviewed the document and…

Real world equivalent: acknowledging someone with a scowl and proceeding to make a demand without saying hello.

3.     The grunt (especially bad when in response to a politely written email)


Real world equivalent: speaking to someone without looking at them and waving your hand in their face as you do so.

4.     The lazy forward on – where you have to read through 6 or 7 emails to get to the bottom of what the sender is expecting of you.

See below.

Real world equivalent: putting someone on speaker phone while you speak to 5 other people in your office about a pressing issue and then hanging up on them.

5.     The too familiar – particularly bad when used in first contact with the person

Thanks and I really look forward to meeting you then!
Sandy! xoxo

Real world equivalent: hugging someone you have just met in a business setting.

These types of exchanges happen daily and can provoke hostility and anger where none was intended.   With email now our preferred mode of daily communication, never before has it been more important to use it wisely.

It’s important to read over you emails before you send them with fresh eyes to get the tone right before sending. Make sure you email personality matches the one you want to show to the world and where possible, mind your E’s and Q’s!

15 Years of Fame