Emails are by far the most popular form of business communication.

Why do you think that email has become so popular?

Firstly, it is by far the most efficient way to communicate in writing, as it arrives instantaneously. The risk of loss and damage is not really an issue, as with traditional letter writing. However, viruses and other issues can be a problem.

Therefore, we actually communicate in writing more, now that we have email communications. Unfortunately, it can mean that many PAs pay less attention to the format and structure of their emails. They are more informal than a letter, but that doesn’t mean that it is ok for you to send out poor quality emails.

If you are too informal, you can lose professionalism and business standards. However, you can even risk miscommunication. Remember that in person, we can be informal as expression, circumstances and voice make the risk of miscommunication far less likely. Miscommunication is a sign that the email was badly written.

A Guide to Business Writing

1 – Be concise. Get to the point and do not overuse words for the sake of filling up the email.

2 – Structure of the email: Keep the professional structure and do not use informal language. LMHO for example, should not appear.

3 – Subject: Make this clear that it relates to the email content

4 – Always use Business English: No slang or regional words, use English that all can understand. Colleagues overseas should not be reading your emails and not understand any part of them.

5 – Attachments: state that there is an attachment.

As a PA remember that miscommunication in your email will reflect badly on you. This is a part of your job description and is what a PA should be good at. You are often representing the company or your manager with an email, so do not allow a bad email to reflect badly on your manager. If you damage the image of the company this can be an issue that also reflects badly upon you.

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