Pet Peeves: Email for club business

Business communications includes club and association communications and doing it right is stepping up to effectiveness. Business Email Etiquette – 5 Simple Rules For Managing Email Without Being An Ignoramus hits the main points.

There are a few simple business email etiquette rules that you can follow to make your life a whole lot easier and save yourself from being an email ignoramus.

Sure, business email is a necessity, but I think we can all agree that email is a colossal pain in the a$$. A lot of that pain is caused by ignoramus’ rampant misuse of email.

TechTerms defines Netiquette as

Netiquette, or net etiquette, refers to etiquette on the Internet. Good netiquette involves respecting others’ privacy and not doing anything online that will annoy or frustrate other people. Three areas where good netiquette is highly stressed are e-mail, online chat, and newsgroups. For example, people that spam other users with unwanted e-mails or flood them with messages have very bad netiquette. You don’t want to be one of those people. If you’re new to a newsgroup or online chat room, it may help to observe how people communicate with each other before jumping in.

This is really one of those ‘no excuses’ things. It used to be something taught in school typing classes. It’s still a popular topic for Secretary Handbooks (Amazon Affiliate Link). You’ll even find it buried in the links on our website pages (communications etiquette). The link on that page to RFC 1855 appears to be suffering link rot. A search shows the source document can be found at The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF®) from October 1995

This document provides a minimum set of guidelines for Network Etiquette (Netiquette) which organizations may take and adapt for their own use.  As such, it is liberately written in a bulleted format to make adaptation easier and to make any particular item easy (or easier) to find.  It also functions as a minimum set of guidelines for individuals, both users and administrators.  This memo is the product of the Responsible Use of the Network (RUN) Working Group of the IETF.

It is abuse of etiquette that prompted the CAN-SPAM act of 2003 (Wilkipedia). That was aimed at businesses and wasn’t very effective but it did clarify what was bothering people in I’net communications. As such, the law can provide a good guideline for proper practice.

What is amazing is the hostility often encountered when trying to suggest avoiding some of the more gross etiquette breaches. It’s not just about looking good, it is about a consideration for others. It is how a club actually demonstrates what it thinks of its members and other people. Your communications show what you think of your correspondents. Make it good!

Comments are closed.