Sharing Internal Communications (That’s a No-No)

(http://bit.ly/1lHRwpD)

The other week I was sifting through emails from brands who wanted to collaborate with my business. One company in particular had an interesting message that inspired this blog post…

When preparing to blast a message to a company’s audience it’s important to review the information before sending. I say this because the mentioned company above went ahead and blasted an email promoting a new product. The email seemed fine until I scrolled down to the bottom and there it was… a big, unavoidable second email attached below the person’s signature. The employee obviously had reviewed information from her colleague’s email and sent that same email to her contact list. What’s wrong with this? To start there was information in the second (thread) email that shouldn’t have been shared with individuals that do not work at that company. Also it shows sloppiness. Couldn’t she take 1 extra minute to cut and paste that information into a NEW email and then send to her contact list?

Simple yet powerful solution: Whenever emailing back and forward about a message that will be shared with a company’s contact make sure to create a new email and insert whatever the final message is to the contact in that new file.

It not only looks sloppy when internal information is shared with an outside contact, but it could also be detrimental to the organization. Thankfully in this case 1) I’m not about to use the company’s information and 2) It wasn’t super sensitive information, yet it still should not have been shared.

Have you ever experience a similar situation? If you were sent sensitive information from another company would you delete the message/ignore it/tell the person who sent it? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below!

A Taste of the Global Audience via The Blonde Salad

As the Internet brings the world together with digital communications – like this blog – the need to keep a global audience in mind while writing increases. Not only do writers have to consider difficulty of language in their writings, but they also have to take into account specific words indigenous to a culture as well as certain jokes. While making sure language is easy to read for the variety of communication consumers in the world, it is also important to make sure an organization remains true to its voice and brand. Fashion blogs are no different. As the Internet usage grows and the consumption of paper media diminishes, fashion bloggers are creating careers by posting what they wear online and then getting consumers to buy those clothes.

An example of a fashion blogger who keeps her voice in mind while also addressing the global audience is The Blonde Salad. Chiara Ferragni, founder and blogger behind The Blonde Salad, keeps the global audience in mind. The Italian blogger originally posted in Italian, however, as her blog evolved into the global phenomenon that it is today, she started incorporating English into her posts. The language is lighthearted, easy to read and showcases Chiara’s fun personality!

Key points to take from Chiara’s blog:

1) Her core readership came from Italy so she stays loyal to those in her network by posing in Italian.

2) To continue to grow her site she started incorporating English into her posts. This opened her site up to many more potential readers.

3) Her language is simple and fun – on brand for her – realizing this is the fashion industry.

4) The site is easy to navigate encouraging readers to dive into full posts and engage with her text instead of just focusing on the photos.

 

Do you read any blogs that are run outside of the United States? If so, what blogs do you read? Do those sites take the global audience into consideration?

 

Screenshot from The Blonde Salad

Downfall of the XOXO Signature

Unless you work in the fashion or similar lifestyle industry, you might not have seen someone sign an email, “XOXO.” If this is true, then congratulations you are saved from the dreaded downfall that is the kiss hug, kiss hug signature.

This signature is a slippery slope that can lead to fake email responses and unprofessional correspondences. Below I highlight potential reasons why someone might use this signature and options for replying. As always, I’m open to suggestions and commentary so please leave responses in the comment section below.

 

Reasons why someone might sign an email XOXO:

1) The person is your friend and feels it necessary to show that love via work email.

2) The person is trying to get you to do something like write about her client (this typically falls into the PR world of email signatures).

3) The person is trying to avoid signing the email with “best.” In this case that’s understandable. Signing an email with “Best” to me says that it was great talking with someone and you don’t plan on talking with him anytime soon or that you are new contacts¬†and don’t know much about the other person.

4) The person doesn’t understand that this is a business interaction and XOXOs should be saved for Valentine cards and fun text messages with friends.

 

Potential responses to the XOXO Signature:

1) Sign the email with “XOXO”, too. This is most likely a bad decision and will lead to a downfall of XOXOs until both parties are falsely putting XOXOs to upkeep with the overly lovey email correspondence.

2) Sign the email with “Best.” If you read the reasons why someone might sign an email XOXO, then you may also now think that best is a way of telling someone that you are done with that conversation. This is appropriate to use if you are emailing someone for the first few times and have not built a relationship.

3) Sign the email with a “Thank you” or “Talk soon.” This avoids entering the downfall of the XOXO signature while also keeping the conversation friendly. This option says you are professional and friendly while still showing you are not joking around. NO XOXOs!

4) Other. Do you have any recommendations for potential responses for the XOXO Signature?

 

Now for some examples:

 

The XOXO Signature is unprofessional because it shows a deep informality in the workplace. If you are conversing with friends and would like to use this signature or similar text it is advised that you do so on non-business related devices IE personal email and personal phone.

Ways to go BEYOND the XOXO Signature: Suggest to the email offender that using XOXO is informal for a work setting and offer alternative ways for that person to be friendly while still being professional in email correspondences. You could suggest signatures like “Talk soon” and “Have a great day.”