Email Etiquette

Public Relations is all about communication, which is why those who intend to pursue PR careers study and take an in-depth look at people’s behavior and interactions with others. In the growing age of technology, we still engage in the same behavior and interactions, just in different ways. Email is one of the main forms of communication that has proven to be trustworthy overtime.


An email is a classic way to introduce an individual to a reporter, potential employer, brand ambassador, or onboarding client. Many take a step further by calling or meeting in person after initial contact. For now, review these tips and tricks to ensure your emails are successful and professional:


  • Be friendly: When opening or closing an email, it takes an extra few seconds to type “I hope you’re doing well!” or “Enjoy your weekend!”. These brief statements are an easy way to leave the reader in a more amicable mood. “Please” and “thank you” are also valuable assets, but don’t overdo it. Even in thank-you notes, don’t use the phrase “thank you” more than twice. Once at the beginning and once at the end is enough.
  • Be transparent: In the subject line and email, be clear about what you are emailing about. This makes it easier on both parties, so no one has to wade through inarticulate language or send more emails back and forth to clarify. Especially when sending pitches, subjects lines and emails need to be coherent and consistent to save time and to develop the relationship between you and the client (which hopefully ends with your pitch used as a press release).
  • Be succinct: PR is typically time sensitive and, chances are, if you have a pitch, there are a plethora of competing pitches already sitting in your recipient’s inbox. Don’t drag out your emails; a few short paragraphs will typically suffice. People will appreciate your brevity, so long as you hit all the points you need to cover. Quality over quantity every time!
  • Use the right signoff: Did you just say “thank you”? Then don’t sign off with “thanks”. “Best”, “sincerely”, or sometimes just your name can work just as well. If you’re sending a more casual email to coworkers about an upcoming event, feel free to be more casual and go with a hearty “cheers”. Read your audience, and understand boundaries.
  • Include your signature: A default signature is a great way to cut down on your email content, and eliminates the need to write out your phone number out every time there is a follow-up email. A signature with your position, company, phone number, and even a link to your LinkedIn profile are great resources for other individuals. It also adds that extra bit of professionalism and ethos to your email.
  • Check your spelling and grammar: Use spell check, read your email out loud and use outside apps to check your writing. With so many options to check your work, it’s easy to take a minute to ensure your work is correct. Another thing to look out for: how often you use exclamation points. Unless you just accepted a job offer (and sometimes even then), limit your exclamation points to sentences that really need that extra boost.
  • Check your attachments: Yes, naturally check your spelling and grammar, but also check your attachments. Are they confidential? Is your sender correct? Does the hyperlink work? Many companies have switched over to using cloud backups, and now send important files by way of Dropbox to ensure user privacy. This way, the links can be timed, and access can be revoked at any time.
  • Put the sender in last: By typing in your recipient after you type the email, you can avoid accidentally sending your message before it is finished. However, even if you do, Google has up to a 30 second “undo send” option in its settings. For those using templates through HubSpot or similar software, that require you to input a sender before constructing the email, consider putting in your own email. This way, even if the email is prematurely sent , it won’t do any harm.
  • Follow-up: Speaking of HubSpot, many tech services offer tracking and monitoring for emails sent and opened. This is helpful when constructing follow-up emails, as it allows you to tailor the email to the amount of information the recipients need. And, if the recipient gets back to you, make sure to respond as soon as possible, typically within 24 hours.


Emails can be annoying to send, but they are crucial when initiating potential relationships and have the ability to reach a large audience with just a few clicks. Knowing how to confidently and successfully send a professional email will help make your life easier in the long run, especially for students going on co-op.


Ansa Seeks Startup Interns

Ansa is the safest place to share with friends.  It’s a new messaging app that allows you to text “off-the-record” and have disappearing conversations without leaving a trace behind. Download it on iOS or Android ( and give it a go. 
If you want to learn more about their internship, send an email to

Intern Sushi Seeks Interns

About the internship:

Intern Sushi is currently looking to hire one Campus Rep at Northeastern University to help increase brand awareness and generate sign-ups on campus. This paid internship is an opportunity to:

  • Gain real management, business development, and strategic planning experience
  • Receive internship credit
  • Make money!
  • Work with a new startup and make a real impact in the success of the company

Intern requirements:

Intern Sushi is looking to hire influential, well-connected and sharp students.

The fine print:

To apply, please email your cover letter and resume to Alexandra.

United Planet Seeks Intern

About United Planet:

As featured on CNN, United Planet (UP), an international non-profit organization, strives to create a world in which all people understand, respect, and support one another.  United Planet’s global network of leaders and volunteers fosters cross-cultural understanding and addresses shared challenges to unite the world in a community beyond borders.  The underlying principle of their programs is the concept of Relational Diplomacy – recognizing that the relationship between people of diverse backgrounds is the basic building block for uniting the world.

About the internship:

United Planet is looking for a Marketing Coordinator available for at least 6 months to join their international team in Boston in June, 2013.  The intern will promote cutting-edge humanitarian and educational programs among global media and to develop innovative strategy to manage and improve global awareness for United Planet.

Intern roles and responsibilities:

  • Competitor research
  • Prepare internal marketing reports
  • Support online marketing efforts
  • Prepare media kits for staff meetings with potential partners
  • Assist with outreach to American colleges and universities, including career fairs
  • Social media
  • Monthly newsletter
  • Respond to marketing inquiries
  • Add contacts to Salesforce and Constant Contact
  • Maintain United Planet community
  • Update press contacts
  • WordPress – review and disposition of comments
  • Blogging
  • And more

Intern requirements:

  • Creative, resourceful, confident, goal-oriented, and entrepreneurial
  • Strong written and verbal English skills needed
  • Marketing and business majors preferred
  • Community service experience preferred
  • Knowledge of Salesforce, Drupal, HootSuite, Pinterest, Tumblr, and WordPress helpful, but not required

The fine print:

Send a resume and cover letter to Jonathan Hass, HR Director, at  This is an unpaid position.

Walker Films Seeks Intern

About Walker Films:

Walker Films launched in 2010 to make arthouse, genre, and independent feature films, documentaries, television, and web series.  A Walker Films debut feature is currently in post-production and up for review by the Tribeca Film Institute.

About the internship:

Walker Films needs a creative, outgoing, and hard-working intern with great writing skills, a love for the entertainment business, and a sense of humor.  The intern will help maintain social media accounts, engage followers on a regular basis, and increase follower numbers according to established benchmarks to build an audience for the upcoming feature film release.

Intern roles and responsibilities:

  • Help maintain social media accounts
  • Assist in online outreach for screenings and film promotion
  • Additional outreach and administrative tasks, as needed
  • Compile a weekly social media outreach analytics report

Intern requirements:

The ideal candidate will have demonstrated social media experience.  Experience in film or music marketing a plus.

Applicant must currently be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program, and be able to commit 10-15 hours a week.  College credit is available.  Intern will work remotely.

The fine print:

To apply, send your resume, a cover letter, and links to examples of your work to addressed to their “Web Strategist.”  Please use the subject “Social Media Internship.” Links to personal social media accounts can be submitted in place of professional examples for students who have a film and marketing background.

Boundless Seeks Interns

About Boundless:

Boundless is an educational technology company revolutionizing the way students learn.  They create free online textbooks and study tools for college students, so they can focus more on getting the grade they want and less on the expenses of learning materials.

About the internship:

Boundless is looking for a social rockstar to make a social splash at Northeastern and encourage other students to use Boundless.  Interns will be considered for a future semester-long marketing internship or full-time role.

Intern roles and opportunities:

  • Communicate with students via Twitter, Facebook, etc. to spread the word about Boundless.
  • Identify the most influential social students at NU and meet or talk with them about Boundless.
  • Coordinate with the Boundless Campus Manager to help with additional marketing efforts.
  • Research exciting on-campus events.

Intern requirements:

  • Current college student enthusiastic about helping students save money and study smarter.
  • Marketing, PR, or journalism majors preferred.
  • Strong relationship-building and communication skills.
  • Passion for excellent writing.
  • Social media savviness.  Prior experience managing professional social profiles a plus.

The fine print:

Where: Remote (all work takes place at NU).
Time commitment: 5 hours/week minimum, flexible hours.
Email resume or LinkedIn profile (preferred), a brief cover letter, and links to your social channels to  Include “Social Media Rockstar” and Northeastern in the subject line.  In your cover letter, include a list of the top five students Boundless should follow on social media at NU to prove you’re a Social Rockstar.

451 Marketing Seeks Interns

About 451 Marketing:

451 Marketing is a national award-winning communications agency that specializes in public relations, social media, and search marketing.  Headquartered in Boston and representing Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, and Las Vegas, they build and promote great brands.

About the internship:

451 Marketing recognizes that great ideas can come from anyone- which is why their interns are involved in every level of their business. Their interns have high-level organizational and interpersonal skills, the ability to multitask across multiple clients and responsibilities and demonstrate strong written and verbal communications. Interns provide essential support to two or more account teams including administration and research. They value interns who seize this important opportunity to learn about the PR profession, the importance of teamwork, the clients and the industries they serve, and the agency’s business. They also encourage interns to ask questions and volunteer for assignments to help them grow in their positions. Interns work closely with account managers to develop tactical skills.

Intern responsibilities and opportunities:

On a given day while supporting our integrated PR campaigns for a variety of local and national consumer and hospitality brands, a 451 intern could partake in the following:

  • Participate in team brainstorming sessions
  • Conduct client market research
  • Listen-in on client/team update calls
  • Develop targeted press lists
  • Monitor for client coverage and clip resulting articles
  • Write press releases/media advisories
  • Provide event support

Specific for the hospitality intern position, interns must be able to work in a fast pace environment in which one project may be replaced by another because of deadlines at any moment. The hospitality team works with over 20 different restaurant groups, so interns must be able to balance a variety of different tasks, and always be on top of what each client is offering – as the industry changes every minute.

The fine print:

Please email a resume and cover letter to Taylor Pearson.

For more information visit 451 Marketing online.