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August 08, 2012

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Scarlet Billows

I'm sorry but this is rubbish advice.

"I didn't have the time to be brief", as the saying goes. There's a truth in that. Anyone - particularly those who write a lot in their communication - know that the more time spent on a text, the greater the result. And yes, virtually every email is much longer than necessary.

But sacrificing intelligibility for compliance with an arbitrarily-set number of characters is, imho, the wrong way to go about

Instead, work on writing succinctly and clearly from the start. It won't be easy but your ability will develop quite fast actually. Usually, one read-through tightens up the text significantly.

So, instead of assuming your readers are stressed-out tweeters with no ability to focus beyond a tweet, get the full message across in crisp, brief and legible prose.

Lastly, people who don't read messages sent to them shouldn't be working there in the first place.

John Pustell

This idea has been around for a long time in many forms. They used to call that brief summary lead-in the "executive summary". I use it often.

KD

Scarlet -

Rubbish advice? That's fine, I've got thick skin. But I had to respond to the following:

"Lastly, people who don't read messages sent to them shouldn't be working there in the first place."

That's not a realistic comment. Lots of people in every org ignore messaging sent to them. You can craft it differently, have different thoughts than I do, all good - but that comment doesn't fly. The fact that people don't read emails that cause them to scroll is a reality... how we react to that is what matters.

Thanks - KD

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