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Training Bulletin
issue 33

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Writing Effective Email

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Training Bulletin Issue 33

Aporkalypse now?

Though swine flu is not turning out to be as deadly as the worst of the media hysterics were predicting, it may be enough to make a lot of people unable to come in to work for several days at a time. Even if they aren’t sick, they may have to stay home to look after children who are. Schools, which are a classic breeding ground for any illness, have just resumed for the new year.

What happens to your business if more than a certain number of people are away at the same time? Companies have been cutting staff to the minimum to survive the current economic crisis, so it potentially won’t take many absences to cause real problems in keeping up with the workload.

With modern technology, key staff quarantined at home because of swine flu in the family can still work effectively.

How to write clear emails containing all essential information

We use email as our main business communication tool, both for internal and customer-facing transactions. Consider how people decide what to do with incoming email and make sure that your email gets through each barrier.

People decide to read an email based on who it is from and on the subject line. Make sure your subject line clearly reflects the contents of the email – don’t just reply to an old email without editing the subject.

If it’s urgent or there is any kind of deadline, say so in the subject. Don’t rely on the ‘urgent’ flag – this is so overused that many people ignore it.

State clearly in the opening lines whether the email contains actions for the recipient. Not everyone notices whether their names are in the ‘To’ field or the ‘Copy’ field, and not everyone consistently uses this convention for emails that are for action or information only. And a lot of people read only the couple of lines they can see in the preview window rather than opening the email.

How to transact business by teleconference

Trying to schedule meetings for times when everyone is in the office is hard enough without the added problems of staff working from home. Teleconferencing saves money on travel and makes scheduling easier. But meetings without face-to-face contact can be hard to minute. These suggestions overcome the most common problems.

The preceding suggestions are from our course on Notes & Minutes for Meetings, and the recently revised Email Masterclass. Why not make training in good communications part of your swine flu strategy?

Already off with swine flu?

You can make good use of this time with remote mentoring. Send a sample of writing and we will assess it and return it with comments. We will then phone you at a convenient time to talk you through the writing sample and the suggested amendments, explaining the rationale for each so that you take away both useful suggestions for that document and learning points to apply to future work.
call us to find out more.

Editor recommends

Writing Effective Email, Nancy Flynn and Tom Flynn
Published by the Sunday Times, so written for British readers, this gives a good overview of the basics of email. It also covers some of the main errors in punctuation, and has a chapter on managing your in box.

Public course schedule

Follow this link for the dates of our public courses.

The price is £495 + VAT per person for a one-day course and £850 + VAT for a two-day course. Half day courses are £295 + VAT per person.

Consultancies cost £850 + VAT for one day or £500 + VAT for half a day, held at your premises.

We also offer private courses at your premises. Please call us for details.

How to book

To book, call Abi on +44(0)844 445 7743 ext 20, or use the booking form.

Kind Regards
The Plain Words Training Team

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