Monday, January 12, 2004

Cyber-etiquette techniques which bode well in the world of public relations.

Just as you send a business on letterhead, with a date, greeting, well-crafted message and salutation (among other components), you should also follow some basic rules of thumb when trying to put your best foot forward via an electronic medium and still maintain that same level of professionalism:

• If you do get a virus, contact the sender immediately. Many computer users can be caught unaware that their computer is not only infected, but that it may be infecting others as well.

• Never forward a “virus warning” e-mail unless you know it is from a trusted source. Chances are, you may be spreading spam or a virus yourself.

• In your e-mail address book, add the name “AAAA” and give it an invalid e-mail address “AAAA%1234.” If you open an e-mail with a virus that sends e-mails from your address book, this should cause an error message to appear and send up a big red flag for you to shut down your computer and seek IT assistance.

• Never use all caps in an e-mail – it’s perceived as screaming.

• Use punctuation correctly and wisely.

• Always include an electronic signature with your name and contact information at the end of the e-mail.

• Always include the e-mail you are responding to or forwarding (especially if you’re not going to answer the original inquiry directly as you would in a handwritten and mailed correspondence).

• If you are sending the same message to many recipients, use the “BCC:” function – And use “CC:” sparingly.

Like putting your best suit on for trial and smiling for the television cameras after you receive a favorable verdict, good computer safety and etiquette equates to great public relations.

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