Wick Communications

Email never dies

In Communication on August 11, 2016 at 1:18 pm

care with email

Virtually every day someone writes to me in a way that makes me want to punch a pillow. You misspelled my name. Don’t print my arrest or you will hear from my lawyer. Why do you always cover X High School?

I get it. Sometimes you want to blow off a little steam in the general direction of your kind readers. Plus, we’re good with words. This is what we do. So, you wanna do email battle with me, do you?

Stop. Don’t send that email. Get out of your chair. Remove yourself from the vicinity of your keyboard. You will be glad you did.

Email isn’t like Snapchat. Your words won’t disappear after a while. They will remain in searchable form in your enemy’s inbox forevermore. Nine times out of 10, that isn’t so terrible. But know that your written clap back is likely more eviscerating than you know. There is something about written communication that conveys more punch than we often intend and sometimes we’re the ones who are knocked out when we find out just how much they hurt our email sparring partner.

Remember: When you send that snarky email giving someone what for, that person is likely to send it to someone else. It could be sent to a group of friends or copied to Facebook or, perhaps, sent to your boss. …

What’s more, because we are in the communication business, our foul words and misspellings and whatnot might be particularly … poignant.

Lastly, I ask you be particularly careful if a source is threatening legal action or seems to be phishing for something incriminating from you. It’s not a great idea to write to your boss and cop to something you shouldn’t have done after you get a lawyer letter. Our emails might be subpoenaed. In fact, they can be retrieved from Google without our permission. Think of how your smart aleck email you sent that day is going to read in a courtroom. This can be a very costly mistake. In fact, the less written back and forth the better in such instances.

More than all of that, we seek clarity and to represent our news organizations with dignity. Treat email the same way you would an old-fashioned letter and you will probably be just fine.

Clay

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