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.


On Fire to Hire… YOU!

Looking to flex your PR skills at a startup and gain experience working for a growing company? Be sure to check out the On Fire to Hire Startup Expo on Monday Feb. 27!

On Fire to Hire is a Northeastern-only event for alumni, undergraduate and graduate students looking for internships, Fall 2017 co-op positions, and full-time jobs. It will take place in the Curry Student Center Ballroom starting at 5:30pm for undergrad students and alumni and 6:30pm for graduate students. Pre-registration is recommended but not required. For a full list of the startups participating this year, click here. Hope to see you there!

NUPRSSA Tips: Social Media

Another month has gone by, can you even believe it?  It feels like just a few days ago we were rounding up our favorite co-op interview tips for you all.  This time around, we’d like to share our favorite advice on using social media.

1. If you are using social media for both personal and professional purposes, it is possible to incorporate both worlds.  Twitter comes to mind first – I try to keep up on industry news and retweet anything relevant, while still complaining about all of the #firstworldproblems I have.
– Katie, president

2.  A social media specialist is one of the most up-and-coming job positions in any company/agency.  If you feel that you have the knowledge and skill to take on a group’s social media accounts, one-hundred percent do it!  I’ve learned an incredible amount about what type of tweets, posts, and pins elicit audience feedback just from working with social media at my internship.
– Kristina, vice president 

3. Make sure you monitor your social media and online presence.  Sometimes it helps to Google yourself to make sure private things from various social media sites aren’t leaking out onto search engines where potential employers might see it.
– Jessica, secretary

4. Twitter is a great way to network!  Follow any people or companies that are of interest to you.  Interacting with these people/companies via Twitter is a great way to get yourself on their radar and see their latest updates.
– Shannon, treasurer

5. Don’t forget about LinkedIn!  If you meet someone that you would like to network or build a relationship with, add them on LinkedIn within 48 hours, and remember to make your invitation personal.  Don’t just send the generic “so and so would like to add you to their personal network” – instead, tell them it was great meeting them at "X" event and that you hope to keep in touch, or something along those lines.
– Gabi, social media

6.  Start a conversation!  If a PR agency tweets something interesting, tell them what you liked about it.  Maybe they tweet something relevant to college students – let them know how it was beneficial.  You never know what could come of talking to someone through social media!
– Chelsea, fundraising

7. The limit for tweets is, of course, 140 characters.  However, if you want people to be able to retweet your tweets, be sure to leave enough room for them to write a quick reaction to precede their RT.  Allow them space to weigh in, which they may wish to do before sending the tweet out to their followers.
– Libby,outreach 

Make sure to swing by next month to hear this semester’s last set of tips from the E-Board!

NUPRSSA Tips: Networking

With the semester in full swing, we know you’re all having a busy September.  As co-op application due dates are coming closer and graduation nears (December, at least), the E-Board members share their expertise on networking with a few quick tips to help you get started.

1. Follow up on any connections that interest you.
– Katie, President 

2. Always be aware of your career goals! I can’t tell you how many times the first question people ask me is “What do you want to do?” Don’t just say PR. Be concise and specific- it shows how driven you are and could land you in the hands of a useful connection.
– Kristina, Vice President 

3. Every connection you make is an important one. You never know who knows who in the industry, and how smaller connections can turn into big opportunities. 
– Jessica, Secretary 

4. Follow anyone you’re interested in talking to/networking with on Twitter and retweet them or reply to their tweets that interest you. This is an extremely easy and painless way to get your name on someone’s radar. Follow companies that you’re interested in, too! Most companies have people dedicated to working on their social media, so it’s an easy way to get yourself noticed.
 – Shannon, Treasurer

5. Don’t let yourself become too overwhelmed.  There are tons of networking opportunities, which means its important to weed out the opportunities that are irrelevant to your career goals.  When you’re actually attending these events, don’t let the amount of people overwhelm you either.  Check out the attendee list and pick out a few people that you would like to network with before jumping in.  You’ll feel much better being prepared for the event.
– Gabi, Social Media 

6. Add people on LinkedIn! It’s a great way to connect with people and also see what their past experiences are.  This could help you find out if there are any that might benefit you.
– Chelsea, Fundraising

7. Hit the ground running- you may be overwhelmed when you first start with a new campaign or client, but try your best to learn as much as you can about the ins and outs of this new project. Be a sponge for information- the more that you learn, the quicker you will be able to start contributing to the team.
– Libby, Outreach 

Come back next month to hear more tips from the E-Board!