For all the talk about other channels, email remains the most popular means of sharing information and driving employees to organizations’ content.
It can also be a perilous means of exchange, as accidental forwarding can destroy personal and business relations, and snide remarks about a client can get you sued.
In a free guide from Ragan and PoliteMail, experts ranging from communicators to attorneys offer tips on how best to use the powerful communications channel. “How to Harness the Power of Email in Internal Comms” will sharpen your engagement—and might even save you from a lawsuit.
Done right, email can complement your intranet and drive people to your content, says Michael DesRochers, managing director of PoliteMail.
“Intranets can become ghost towns,” DesRochers says. “Email loops people back in.”
The guide offers numerous takeaways in three broad areas:
Improving email protocols. Are you or your employees overdoing “reply all” and clogging the system? Are you using design to make it easy for the recipient to grasp your message? Have you mastered the formatting tips to make your emails easy to digest?
Driving internal readers to your intranet content. Are you training readers to follow through on your messages, keeping emails brief? Do you segment email according to employee groups, such as managers or factory workers?
“Who are your email readers?” says Alexander Grosu, digital marketer at inSegment. “Are there multiple groups of people interested in what you have to say?”
Avoid legal issues in emails. Lawsuits are a fact of life. Is your organization training employees how to use email responsibly? Or are you setting yourself up for a lawsuit? Attorneys weigh in on best practices.
“There are few things as devastating as testifying under oath and having someone read your own words at you in direct contradiction to what you said,” says Peri Berger, an attorney with the New York City offices of Harris Beach.
• How to design for the recipient, from subject lines to formatting
• The problem with multiple topics per email
• Ways to use email to drive internal readers to your intranet content
• How to reach non-desk workers
• Ways to use strong visuals
• How to avoid getting yourself in legal trouble because of email
The guide explains why email training should be part of a robust social media policy, according to Jessica Golden Cortes, an attorney with the New York firm of Davis & Gilbert.
“Nobody has or should have an expectation of privacy for anything they say or do using to using the company’s computer system,” says Cortes, who does training for companies on the topic.