Re: New rules for business correspondence

Subject: Re: New rules for business correspondence
From: Paul Goble <pgcommunication -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 3 Dec 2010 11:45:27 -0600

Our finite minds are SO attracted to hard-and-fast rules. In
traditional business correspondence, as with email, violating the
rules or expectations which govern a particular context can stir up
strong emotions (as we've just witnessed here!).

When participating in a particular email discussion, why not pause to
note whether the other participants are top- or bottom-posting, and
follow their example (even if one thinks there's a "better way")?
Then, out of compassion for the readers, trim the quoted text (trim
mercilessly, if it's a bottom-posted discussion).

Back to the question which started all of this ... There's really only
one rule you need: Know Your Audience. When evaluating books on
communication, one of the first things I look for is whether the book
discusses the role of context and audience expectations. Even if the
book goes on to present a list of rules, it's important to know when
to apply those rules. Sales letters are often granted more stylistic
freedom than other correspondence, but you could try to figure out
which style guides are accepted by the target industry. How to do
that? Look at authoring guidelines for relevant trade publications,
look at textbook lists for the schools which are educating their
employees, or call a random secretary at the target company and ask.

--
Paul Goble
Omaha, Nebraska
pgcommunication -at- gmail -dot- com
www.pgcommunication.com
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References:
Re: New rules for business correspondence: From: Mike Starr
Re: New rules for business correspondence: From: Keith Hood
RE: New rules for business correspondence: From: Peter Hirons
Re: New rules for business correspondence: From: Char James-Tanny

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