January 2014 – Issue 1

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Industry Etiquette: You’re Doing E-mail Wrong [Lipstick on a Pig]


Lipstick on a Pig

The famous phrase “Lipstick on a Pig” is a vain attempt at making something appear better than it really is. Etiquette is that “lipstick” in the business world. The successful practice and use of etiquette can provide a level playing field no matter your educational background, economic standing, or your position within a company.

Etiquette by definition is “the conventional but unwritten code of practice followed by members of any certain professions or groups.” I am glad to take on the initiative of providing our industry with the tools and guidelines it needs to maintain a state of professionalism with a little humor, of course.

It takes great discipline to maintain a professional persona within our daily interactions and correspondences, especially when our personal relationships overlap with our business relationships. It is my role to help you navigate through your day-to-day business transactions in a manner that will place your company and yourself in a more professional light and allow you to gain respect among your peers. I have chosen to stay anonymous in this column for multiple reasons, but the primary reason is that I would prefer to keep an honest interaction with you, the readers of DailyFunder, and do not want you to shy away from asking questions.

Since this is the first edition of the DailyFunder, I will be picking out my own topic and one that contains some of the most grievous etiquette mistakes. Drum roll please (pdat, pdat, pdat…….)—email correspondence. Yes, you may groan at that and rightfully so, as it is how we conduct 80% of our correspondences. Some of our first introductions to other individuals often happens through email. The biggest problem with emails is that once you hit send, it is forever; virtual immortality. Whether the email is an interoffice communication, customer service response, marketing campaign, relationship building opportunity, or appointment setting, an email can be your superhero or your villain and the thin line that separates the two is your wherewithal of etiquette and professionalism. By not restricting yourself to certain parameters in every email you draft, you could be creating your own kryptonite in your relationships with potential clients and your peers. I have created a list of DOs and DON’Ts that can be carried out in our industry and hopefully with practice will be transferred to other areas of communication.

As stated, these are guidelines and while some of them are provided with a little bit of humor you should always keep in mind the three main points to keep your correspondence in line: Professionalism, Efficiency, and Protection. If the email you are sending does not encompass the three points above then it is not an email you need to send.

I would like to keep the future formats of “Lipstick on a Pig” in a Q & A format so please feel free to contact me at etiquetteinsider@dailyfunder.com with any of your questions or comments. I will respond in a timely manner, and some of those responses will be featured in the future issues, with your consent and your anonymity as well.

Yours Truly,

Etiquette Insider

Industry Etiquette


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