3 Simple Email Etiquette Rules to Remember Even When You Are Busy

I send and receive lots of emails every week, working in public relations means that it is a daily activity, in fact most professional service based work means that emails are central to communication. Whether you are working in an office as a career professional or you are building your own business, emails are important and email etiquette is crucial. Social media is great but emails are the most conventional way of maintaining a standard flow of prompt communication outside of telephone calls. I, for one, am not a fan of social media direct messages which should be emails unless the messages are via LinkedIn. Having to send emails frequently and obviously understanding the value of building strong relationships, has taught me the value of email etiquette. We have all been caught out at least once, either sending an email which has been misconstrued/reflects our tense reaction or receiving an email that is abrupt or curt. I understand that we can have tough days, I also understand that things aren’t always rosy behind the screen. I tend not to match poor manners with a bad response as I choose to uphold a professional (and honest) response but that does not negate the fact that it can be very annoying.

Here are a few of my own basic email etiquette rules to use even when you’re busy:

Think about the tone of your message – in a digital age, tone matters. I have seen social media misunderstandings being exacerbated into full on online disagreements because of what could be deemed as a misunderstanding based on tone. We are all wired differently so you really have to take the time to consider how your message will be received based on the intention that you are sending it. Just spend a few moments to read the email you’re about to send back to yourself. Would you be happy with the tone of it if it were being sent to you? If yes send it. If the answer is no just take a moment to fix it. Are you intentionally using the email to express your emotions? If so really take the time to think about why? I.e. Do you want an apology? Do you feel disrespected? If that is the case your feelings might be valid but remember that not everyone has the same attitude as you do and you should think about whether your email will actually lead to a resolution or if it will cause even more problems.  Remember that emails are very different from telephone calls or face to face meetings, this should be common sense but I really need people to understand. With vocal or physical communication we can sense tone through certain obvious cues such as voice pattern changes and body language, but when we read things in print our minds might react differently to words because we have no other cues but our own preconceptions. So take the time to consider this when sending an email or a response that could lead to a misunderstanding.

3 Simple Email Etiquette Rules to Remember Even When You're Busy

Greetings matter – How you address people really matters in emails. Know when it is the right context to use “Hi”, “Hello” and “Dear” – most times the latter 2 greetings are absolutely fine in a professional setting (most prefer “Dear” in very formal settings. Use “Hi” only if the person you are sending the message to is a good contact and you email each other frequently. Know and understand your boundaries whenever you send an email to anyone. You should also ensure that you do everything in your power to make sure you get the spelling of a person’s name right. Once in a while the keyboard critters can mess up your flow and cause a typo or an auto-correct mistake but even if that is the case make sure you apologise as soon as you spot it (if you do). But just make an effort to greet people with respect and courtesy in an email. That is the very least that you can do when it comes to email etiquette.

Email Etiquette

Don’t fan the flames – If you’re reading this it is very likely that you’re human unless the robots have taken over the planet. Being human means that you have your own set of emotions and you are going through things, you might be busy, stressed, tired, unwell or any of the things can put pressure on us. If you receive an email that annoys you or if you’re having a bad day just do your very best not to fan the flames and cause you more unnecessary stress. Emails leave a digital footprint so if things escalate in the inbox there will always be a paper trail. Think about how you want to resolve an issue and most importantly stay focused on the intention of your response. At the end of the day your email is being sent with a purpose, so really take the time to focus on the purpose and don’t get caught up in pettiness. If you need to take the time before responding to an email which you perceive as being rude/impolite, take a few moments to breath and even ask someone to read the email before you really need to send a response. At the end of the day try your best not to take things personally, if you need to clarify anything just pick up the phone but don’t allow negativity to override your progress.

I hope this piece helps you and please share your own email etiquette tips and experiences below.

5 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Publicist

Having been in PR for so long, I have had more potential clients than I can count. In fact if all of the people who approached me to undertake their PR actually became my clients I would be a millionaire by now! It is exciting to receive interest in my work but there does come a point when becomes frustrating. Why? Because all too often prospects are simply not prepared when they approach PR agency or want to hire a publicist with regards to knowing what it is they really want.

5 questions to ask before you hire a publicist

If you are a small business owner or entrepreneur here are just a few questions that you should be asking before you approach anyone to undertake your PR. The same applies if you are a creative you might need to assess whether you understand the difference between an agent vs a publicist for example.

Do you actually know what Public Relations is? I know this might sound simple but it still surprises me that so few people have a basic understanding of what public relations is. I have written pieces and even made videos about public relations so I won’t explain it here again but I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to gain an understanding of PR. Once you understand what it is then you will be clear about how it can make an impact in your business or even on your own personal brand on a strategic level.

Do you have a budget? Publicists and PR agencies are not free to hire, they charge money, you might wonder why I have written this but you would be surprised how many requests to undertake free work I have received in the past. So before you approach a publicist please set aside some funds ready to assign their services, this means that 5 questions to ask before you hire a publicistyou will need to do some research and compare and contrast. Be respectful of time and capacity, if you really want to work with an agency but they are out of your budget you will need to be mindful of how you choose to negotiate with them, think about how you would want someone to negotiate with you with regards to pricing. Also do not judge an agency on price alone, you really need to dig deep and check to see if the publicist you want to pay will be the best value for you. That means different things to different people and it does not just boil down to cost alone, it can be reflected in your overall experience of working with them and how they engage with you, what further value do they add to your business? Above all else be ready to invest in a quality service so have a budget ready.

Have you done your background research? I have a very good business website and yet people will still contact me with questions that could easily be answered if they just took 10-15 minutes to browse through my business website and even business social media pages. It saves so much time and prevents awkward moments if you do as much background research on the PR agency or publicist that you are looking to engage with as possible. This also means reading testimonials and paying attention to how they work which will enable you to see if they might work well with you. After you have done your research then of course send that email, make that call and if you need to; request a meeting. This also works even if a PR agency or publicist approaches you or pitches to you for your business, make sure you undertake the necessary research to see if they will be a good fit for you before you proceed.

5 questions to ask before you hire a publicist

Can you do the PR yourself? This might seem strange but realistically you might not have the money to pay a retainer (or even a one off fee) to hire a publicist. That does not mean that you should take PR less seriously, in fact if that is the case then you need to learn how to do your own PR and take it just as seriously as if you were hiring an external party. If you have a team then you should try to include the team in the strategic PR plans of the business. Attend seminars, business books, eGuides or book affordable consultation sessions which will empower you to do your own PR.

Is your business ready to incorporate PR?  I believe that all businesses should have PR as part of their business plans, from pre-launch to the every day management of the business. Have an internal and external communications plans, understand media relations, have a crisis communications strategy in place before a crisis happens and more – if you really want to make an impact with PR.   However there are a few factors that businesses much keep in mind when it comes to readiness to incorporate public relations. A very good example is the media relations aspect of PR which many small businesses and start-ups use to enhance credibility and increase brand awareness. If a business is not ready internally with solid logistics and infrastructure when they receive major media coverage they might not be prepared for any sudden spikes in orders. This could have a negative impact on a brand, particularly in the social media age in which customers and clients can amplify mistakes leading to a PR disaster. So really take the time to think about whether your business is ready.

I understand that hiring any service provider can be a big investment and so it really is important to take the time to prepare yourself before you consider hiring a publicist so that you don’t waste your time and theirs. Hopefully these questions will help you make the right choices so that your business and brand continue to thrive. Visit my business website – www.ariatupr.com

How To Get the Most Out of Media Coverage

Many business brands seek media profiling as a way to enhance their brand visibility and credibility to their target audience. Earned media coverage through media relations is a great way to gain brand recognition and establish a strong reputation for your business and can work side by side with your overall PR, communications and marketing strategy. Achieving press coverage for your business or personal brand is exciting but the work doesn’t just end when you achieve the coverage.

Let the people know about your coverage – You have to make sure that you amplify the coverage and monitor audience response and reaction to it. Of course the media outlets already have the key target audiences that you want to reach but there’s nothing wrong with amplifying the coverage you gain particularly to your own captive audience on social media; not only does this reinforce the messages that is being relayed through the feature/profile but it also ensures that the coverage gets as wide a reach as possible.

Get ready for “fame” – You have to be ready for the exposure that comes from media coverage, the larger the platform the bigger the impact it may have on your business. Are you thinking strategically about how you are positioning yourself in front of the media? If your coverage goes viral in this digital era is your business ready to harness the impact of this new found popularity?

Think small – Are you also thinking beyond the obvious, mainstream media doesn’t have to be the main and only thing but when you do achieve that level of coverage have you undertaken all the detailed assessments to ensure that you can take advantage of coverage. You can achieve lots of media coverage which can have little impact on your business if you don’t know how to use it, in this video I provide some tips on how to use it and make as much of an impact as possible.

If you want to learn some of the basics to achieving media coverage order my eGuide.