The Lost Art of Letter Writing

A mini vacation and busy days at the office have been keeping me away from this blog lately, but today I am back.

And I am back to rant. Just briefly, I promise.

Maybe it's because I had a fantastically strict public relations writing professor, or maybe it's just because I read a lot, but I judge people based on their writing. Maybe more critically than I do on most other aspects of personality - and especially in business transactions, as I rarely have the occasion to meet my clients face-to-face in my current position.

Almost every day I receive emails from my clients that are not only improper business etiquette, but also flat out rude. There is something about the internet, social networking and chat rooms that has given people the impression that they no longer have to be professional in emails.

I was recently passed a client from my sales team to launch a new account. As usual, I contacted the person about setting up an initial call. I gave an explanation of services and offered a number of times I would be available to meet, within two days. This person, whom I had never met or even spoken to, responded with the following: "The sooner the better. Talk soon."

And that was all. To me, this kind of communication is just not acceptable. Just because email is fast and easy, does not mean you should not treat it as you would any other professional correspondence. Please, people, use complete sentences. Be mindful of your audience. And for God's sake, use appropriate punctuation.

In a related post on my corporate blog, I discussed a few other points of email etiquette that may be of interest.


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