Email Etiquette

“There are four ways and only four ways in which we have contact with the world.

We are evaluated and classified by these four contacts:

What we do, how we look, what we say and how we say it.”

Dale Carnegie (1888-1955) American Educator

Thoughts on e-communicating and e-manners:

  1. E-mail is forever.
  2. Always assume your e-mail can be forwarded..… to anyone, anywhere, indefinitely.
  3. Change the subject line title when the subject has changed. Also, reference a school name in the subject line. Many PTA volunteers are involved with two or more schools.
  4. Avoid criticizing and “correcting” when “replying to all’; direct your constructive criticism through a separate e-mail.
  5. Use “Reply All” wisely and sparingly. Give careful thought to what you say to the larger audience and avoid overloading your friends’ inboxes.
  6. Don’t use bad language (Refer to 1 & 2 )
  7. Don’t gossip, defame, or otherwise bad-mouth people in e-mail. (again, 1 & 2 )
  8. Do share the good PTA news with parent lists, such as accomplishments, awards, etc.
  9. Do spread the word when your school has reached a significant goal or benchmark.
  10. Use tools available to protect the privacy of your mail recipients, such as blind copying.
  11. Assure that only those who need to read your mail are the ones who receive it.
  12. Before clicking “send” take a breath and double –check details.
  13. Resist the urge to fire off quick e-mails requesting information you could easily look up on your own. Have fundamental PTA resources like rosters at hand.
  14. Think twice about casual forwarding of those oh-so-cute whimsical e-mails jokes, and “inspirations.” They can really add up. Also, some PTA friends may not share your views about non-schools topics.
  15. Do not use your PTA e-mail lists to advertise business-related opportunities or to solicit business contacts. Not only is it bad manners and an invasion of privacy, it is out of compliance with PTA’s non-commercial policy.
  16. Avoid one-word or two-word answers. Be clear; be specific.