Rant: Email Etiquette

Email is a huge part of our day. It’s how we communicate with media, clients, vendors, project partners, and each other. Sometimes we wish Email 101 was taught alongside PR 101 (listen up, Teacher’s Pets). It’s surprising how many people lack proper email etiquette skills.


  • First and most important to us is, include an email signature IN EVERY EMAIL: first and last name, professional title, company name, mailing address, office line, alternate phone number if applicable, email address and website. Don’t make us search through your last 20 emails to us just to find a phone number or mailing address.
  • Our email addresses have our first names. So, if you’re writing to rachelle [at] rockitpromo [dot] com, don’t begin your email with “Hi Rachel”. A mistake is cool, but try to care. Not so different from many Media, Darling pet peeves.
  • We’re not huge fans of the “read receipt”. It just seems pushy. Try not to overuse “reply all”. And careful when marking something “high priority” – you don’t want to end up like the boy who cried wolf.

Image source
Stop marking everything urgent!
  • Capitalize and punctuate. It’s fairly simple to throw in a few periods, commas and question marks, and makes it easier to understand what you wrote.
  • Also, please don’t shorten words or use numbers for words. We understand you may be in a rush, but an email riddled with short forms can come across as a) confusing, b) cryptic, c) unprofessional, d) annoying and e) it’s not a text.
you ≠ u
are ≠ r
for ≠ 4
to ≠ 2
great ≠ gr8
  • Read our entire email before responding, and try to address all of our comments and questions – we included everything for a reason. Going back and forth and re-asking questions wastes your time and ours.

  • (Side note: We love when media include their story request, deadline, any special instructions, and publication or issue date right off the bat! And we promise to get you all the necessary information by your deadline.)
  • A quick note on RSVPs – identify yourself (especially if you’re writing from a personal account like Gmail). We’re receiving lots of other RSVPs, so including your info off the top definitely makes it simpler and faster to track them. While you’re at it, tell us which event you’re planning to attend – we’re often working on more than one shindig at a time.
  • When replying or forwarding an email, keep the entire message thread. It’s more efficient to file *one* email in the chain instead of three or four. Plus, it saves time when you have to look back on something; you won’t have to look up several emails and piece together the entire conversation because all the info will be in one nice, tidy chain. We like nice and tidy.

 Have you committed any of these crimes against email?
Emailers Anonymous might be for you.

Please help us in making the e-world a better place, one email at a time. What really grinds your email gears? Tweet us your etiquette rants and tips @rockitpromo.