“Netiquette & the Electronic Era”

October 31, 2006 at 11:30 pm 10 comments

My assignment for the Research Project was to discover the lack of etiquette in the ever growing and changing electronic era – “netiquette”. The majority of faults that are relevant to the P.R. profession occur while corresponding through e-mail. It came as quite a shock to me that business professionals are not conducting themselves in a professional manner in their emails, voice mail, and while using handheld devices such as cell phones and Blackberries. In my opinion, this is a result of the lack of rules and seriousness that occurs in everyday communications. It is now quite rare for me to receive an email that looks professional, contains a structure, and is not full of emoticons or causal abbreviations, such as “LOL”(laugh out loud). If these practices carry over into the business world, communications will not be taken seriously. It is because of this Public Relations practitioners need to be aware of the risk involved in using the technology and electronics that are a necessity of their career.

Tips that I found useful for the P.R. professional include remaining proficient while using electronic communication devices, writing professional, formal emails, and obtaining all contact information. A rule to consider for the workplace is setting an e-mail blackout time that will reduce the stress workers feel when they are constantly bombarded by e-mail, and will limit the frequency of which they receive e-mails throughout the day. In addition to this, guidelines for the use of voicemail and cell phone use within the office should be regulated to ensure that all professionals are being courteous to those around them. 

These tips can be quite useful when interacting through electronics, and can save your professional image. In the growing world of electronic communication, professionals must remain aware that their expert image is constantly influenced by how well they use electronic etiquette, and misusing these media can severely hinder their career prospects.

Although there is an increasing use of electronic forms of communication, it must be remembered that this does not, and cannot replace the importance of face to face communication.

Here are a few websites that I have found useful for tips on netiquette:

http://www.emailreplies.com/

http://www.library.yale.edu/training/netiquette/

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/pw/p_emailett.html

 

Colleen D.

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10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Audrey Korol  |  October 31, 2006 at 11:43 pm

    I’ve never actually heard the term “netiquette” before- quite clever! I completely agree with your comments on how we need to remain professional while communicating via the Internet. I am also guilty of being “lazy” with e-communication, e.g. not capitalizing the beginnings of my sentences. I guess most of us need to start getting in the habit of spending a little more time polishing our emails before we send them out.

    Reply
  • 2. prclass  |  November 1, 2006 at 12:32 am

    Oh how I wish I was Miss Manners right now. Or even Grammer Girl for that matter. How I love Etiquette and words, together at last in the electronic era! I really have to agree with all the fudy-dudy sites that you suggested Colleen, where email is still a direct reflection of your professionalism and your ability. My absolute pet peeve is spelling mistakes on anything public, which includes emails, especially to mass groups. Nothing says “I really don’t care about you, or what I am writing because I am far too busy to bother pushing the “spell check” button before I shoot this off to you” like a spelling mistake. We are all busy people I understand that, but take the time to read the email and respond succinctly to those who require a response instead of pushing reply all. I believe that email is a wonderful tool when used by grammtaically correct and polite people!
    b.

    Reply
  • 3. prclass  |  November 1, 2006 at 12:52 am

    I have never heard of e-mail blackouts until Otte, I think it was, mentioned it in class on Monday. Is this a practice that is catching on in many workplaces? How are people responding to it? Anyone know?

    Reply
  • 4. Jamie Gill  |  November 1, 2006 at 9:09 pm

    Hey Colleen,

    Your post was very interesting. I have to say “etiquette” is dissapearing in most situations these days. Many e-mails are informal and not professional, especially when they are to friends and co-workers. I believe not having any formal structure in your e-mail is okay when the e-mail is to a coworker, friend and has no relation to work or business at all.

    In regards to business, I do agree with you there needs to be more professionalism in e-mail etiquette. I believe, I am etiquette when I send e-mails to professors, however I lack the etiquette when I would send an e-mail to a friend.

    Colleen, my question to you, do you think etiquette is important all the time in e-mail, even for personal communication that has no relation or resemblance to work or business?

    Jamie Gill

    Reply
  • 5. prclass  |  November 3, 2006 at 10:23 pm

    Colleen,
    Nice post. Very straightforward about a problem you think would be more obvious. I know myself I am often typing emails to people and I’ll start throwing in @’s or do you wanna. It’s hard to get out of a habit that we’ve been building for so long but the generation under us who have grown up on MSN and internet slang are really goig to have to be cautious. I thought this was a really good post and you took a very good perspective on the situation.

    Mel

    Reply
  • 6. Connie Sombrea  |  November 5, 2006 at 6:16 pm

    I also have not heard of the term “netiquette.” I thought it was a typo, I guess it isn’t. I too find it hard to recieve an e-mail that looks proper and professional. Now I have to admit, depending on who I am e-mailing, for example if I write to a friend I won’t bother with the proper punctuations and grammar. Now on the other hand if I was writing to my boss or a teacher I would make sure your t’s are crossed and your i’s are dotted. I find that people need to realize that they should still be using proper ettiquette while working. There is no need for happy faces, flowers or msn lingo (LOL), in the business world. Feel free to do it on your own time, but we’re professionals in a business profession, keep it that way.

    Connie

    Reply
  • 7. Elizabeth  |  November 6, 2006 at 2:57 am

    Our generation and the next generation seem to forget or doesn’t know what the meaning of “etiquette” is. This is why I think we receive so many “sloppy” messages. It’s not easy to get through all that messages and select the important information- especially where the language is so different from the dictionary; I need to use the dictionary more often than you guys. It seems that the tips found in your research notes are great, however how many people really decide to use them in there daily routines. I think that everyone that has something to say in public, especially through electronic communication should include them before they send any messages out.
    Elizabeth

    Reply
  • 8. prclass  |  November 6, 2006 at 4:15 am

    I myself must say that I have a problem writing with slang. I have been an MSN messenger junkie for the past 6 years and I have a serious problem now, writing formal emails to employers and teachers, and even struggle with essays and reports without using slang. It’s gotten so bad that I now write my papers for school in my slang writing. E.g. “i luv podcasting! u hav no clu its how big its bcome!” Then I have to do a major spell check and grammar check in word. After I’ve done this I still have to go through and change all the lower case “i’s and u’s” that the spell checker didn’t catch, to capitals. This becomes very time consuming but I really have a huge problem typing quickly as well as professionally! I blame MSN messenger! I guess I should get it together and start practicing my professional speed typing in word rather than msn and personal emails. Any suggestions on how to knock the netiquette without Knocking out MSN messenger? Help me, my netiquette is simply automatic!
    Nijah

    Reply
  • 9. Tara  |  November 8, 2006 at 2:22 pm

    Oh, netiquette. It is an interesting phenomenon considering most of the netiquette errors originated as simplifactions that were supposed to make communication easier. Specifically, the netiquette errors associated with instant messaging -manufactured abbreviations. I noticed you pointed this out in your blog using the example of “LOL” for “Laugh Out Loud”. There are lists and lists of these types of abbreviations that have created a whole new internet language. Once you start using them in everyday communication online, it becomes very difficult to filter them out when trying to communicate professionally. Nijah openly admitted to this and so will I. I find it takes a lot of concentration to make sure a “bc” or a “w/” doesn’t slip into this posting right now!
    Forgive my rambling, but I also wanted to ask, Colleen, if you came across anything about netiquette that dealt with mass emails. I am terribly annoyed when I recieve mass emails that really do not apply to me, even (and especially) from people I know. I get enough emails that I have to read through daily. I don’t have the time or patience to filter out irrelevant ones. Anyone else out there share these frustrations?
    Tar

    Reply
  • 10. prclass  |  November 12, 2006 at 3:12 am

    Hi Colleen! We had the same research topic for our Business Reports.

    It seems that we had picked up on a lot of the same important information regarding this topic – we even used a few of the same sources!

    It’s great seeing someone else’s perspective on this topic – even though our conclusions were very similar. Have you changed a few our your habits? I know I have!

    Great job!
    Bree Piccinin

    Reply

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