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E-mail: A love/hate relationship

One of the columnists for Poynter, an online journalism site, recently posted a terrific column about e-mail -- and the proper use of e-mail. I would highly recommend the column. He posts a second part of that column today. And he also posted reader comments.

Here are a few of my own pet peeves:

-- Bad subject lines: I get a lot of e-mail. Really! And that's fine. That is my job. Unfortunately, because of the lack of what I would consider necessary features in spam filters, we had to pull the editorial staff off the spam filter. Therefore, I also get a ton o' spam. (We had to discontinue use of our spam filter because things were disappearing into an abyss.) So I depend on subject lines. So -- and this is especially true for PR folks -- choose your subject lines carefully. It can make the difference between being read and being deleted. My recommendation is be straight and to the point. Don't try to be cute. I'll try and post examples of the good and bad as they come through, but... you know what we are talking about, right?

-- Attachments: Again, this is mostly for PR folks. My general recommendation is never, never, never send a release as an attachment only. Even worse is when the attachment is a PDF. Even worse is when the attachment is a PDF and the subject line only says, "Press release." PDF files are amazing, but they have a purpose. If you want to do that, why not post the text of the message in the body of the e-mail and then also attach the file.

I know I will come up with more, but this is a good start.

And I'm sure others will have more to share. I look forward to reading them. Post them here so everybody can see them... or send them to me directly. I'd recommend the subject line: "Blog: e-mail" or something like that.

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Oct 20, 2005 at 12:15 PM


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