Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tech Tip Tuesday

This week, an email tip.

At the radio stations I work for, it is too common a practice to send a note to lots of people, and then when individuals reply to it, they hit Reply All.

Sometimes that it is a good thing.

Usually not.

MarketingProfs.com sent an email on this subject, and then I'll have a couple of my own tips afterward.

How and When to 'Reply All'

The "reply all" button can produce all kinds of headaches—from filling inboxes with unnecessary chatter to damaging a brand's reputation. "Unwitting or careless use of reply all spawns much mischief," writes Simon Glickman of Editorial Emergency, "from the accidental broadcasting of remarks intended for only select recipients to the dreaded 'e-storm,' whereby an innocent note to the wrong list unleashes wave after wave of indignant, 'helpful' and other replies."

So how do you balance "reply alls"' negative potential with the need to keep your colleagues in the loop? Consider this advice:

  • Before hitting "reply all," take a few seconds to consider how your comment actually adds to the conversation. That witticism, zinger or praise—however clever or complimentary—might be irritating in the context of a public forum.
  • If multiple recipients don't need to see everyone else's feedback, prevent a flurry of inbox-clogging responses with an explicit request not to reply all.
  • Remove the temptation to "reply all"—hide addresses in the BCC field.

Most important, though, don't start flame wars by giving public smackdowns when others violate the etiquette you so carefully observe.

"I sometimes even draft such responses in high dudgeon, hammering out a few paragraphs of doctorly derision before the better angels of my nature touch down on the delete button," admits Glickman. "The impulse to burn someone publicly is sometimes overpowering, but I've never regretted resisting it."

The Po!nt: Avoid the pitfalls of "reply all" email conversations by keeping it professional and business-like; in the process, your colleagues might just get the clue.

Source: Editorial Emergency.

Me again.

If someone sends me an email with lots of other peoples emails that I might want for future reference, I sometimes use the reply all button with a simple "Thanks".

When I send that email, my email program saves all those emails addresses in my address book automatically, and I've just increased my list of contacts.

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