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Impress Your Boss With Twitter/Text Message Versions of Your Email...

It's a CYA world - you have to write that long email, I get it.  So go ahead and do that, but then do something nobody is expecting you to do.  

Write a Twitter/Text Message version of your email and use it as a header. Kdtwitter

Think about it - you hate long emails and read about 10% of the total words that are sent to you.  Most of you have already spaced out a bit on this post.  So use a summary that just happens to engage via the trendy state of Twitter to make you look more hip and up to date than you really are.

For example, if I were summarizing this post in twitter form, I'd break something off like this:

"From @kris_dunn: You're ignoring my long emails and trying to fake it. I can take a hint, from now on I'm breaking it down in 140 spaces. #you'rewelcome"

I recently used a twitter summary as a header for a full position description on for a VP of HR role I filled and got excellent response:

"@EPIUSEAmerica seeks human capital sage. Big brain, no ego, builder of teams. Tech biz, whiteboard the talent future for one of the best."

Finally, here's the twitter summary of a longer description for a presentation I'm doing this fall called "The 9 Faces of HR":

"Every HR pro in the world is one of The 9 Faces of HR.  Join us at <insert conference> as keynote @kris_dunn covers the 9 Faces and tells us which one YOU are."

My take is that the twitter format is better than the text message format for a couple of reasons - first up, the @ handles let you address the people you're talking to, which is good and interest driving, and hashtags let you add some humor and context as well.

Play around with it.  Great way to stand out from the crowd in your company - which is undoubtedly filled with too many long emails.


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.


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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