Mind etiquette, good sense when e-mailing on work time

By Pete Bach. Originally printed in the Appleton Post Crescent, August 4, 2009

Business etiquette expert Barbara Pachter said it's best to start with the obvious when e-mailing on work time.

Get the recipient's name right, she said.

"In the last couple of weeks I received two e-mails from people who sent them to the wrong Barbara," she said. "They were very professional, nothing that was really controversial that I shouldn't have seen. But we're so busy these days and they got me to thinking that maybe people need reminding."

It's not hard to select the wrong person from one's address book when e-mailing, said Pachter, who runs Pachter & Associates, Cherry Hill, N. J.

She suggested adding the e-mail address last to be sure of reaching the intended recipient.

E-mail communications should sport a professional address -- never an inappropriate one like "sexyone@..." or some such -- and be sparing with the humor, since your message can come across incorrectly, Pachter said.

Mary Felton, president of HR Business Partners, an Appleton consulting business, had some suggestions of her own.

"Think before you click," she said. "Keep it short. State the facts. Once you send an e-mail it's gone and no longer private (since) it can be forwarded."

Think before you click

Do's and don'ts to make sure e-mails sent to customers, managers, colleagues or potential employers have a professional tone:

On the Web - www.pachter.com

Pete Bach: 920-993-1000, ext. 430, or pbach@postcrescent.com