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!

Tips from BuzzFeed to Help Your Content Go Viral

The Most Interesting Man in the World. KONY 2012. Psy.

Image: The Houston Press

All of these are testament to the power of viral videos in their ability to achieve brand recognition. Branded video content going viral is something most companies only dream of. However, here are some tips to help steer you in the right direction when trying to develop a viral video or web campaign. 

Jon Steinberg, the President of BuzzFeed, suggests keeping these tips in mind when creating content:

1. Keep it short. Do your best to keep video content under thirty seconds and to keep written content short as well. “If you want something to be shared virally on the web,” Jon explains, “it has to be short.” 

2. Give it an interpersonal, human angle. Make your content something that people will want to share with their mothers, their co-workers, and their friends. When it’s personal, it will get shared.

3. Make it authentic content. People don’t want highly produced content, they want things that feel genuine. Behind the scenes videos can be very successful!

4. Create something people can engage with. Create quizzes, games, and videos they can embed their own images into. People want to engage with content, not just consume it!

5. Offer the ability to comment. Allow visitors the opportunity to give their opinion and react to what they’ve just watched or read.

6. Use lists/images. Everybody likes seeing how things stack up or rank in a certain category. And, images can be far more viral than videos, especially if people don’t have the time or ability to listen to videos in their office. 

7. Give up page views. Many websites with galleries or “Top 10” lists require you to click through all 10 pages to see the whole list. This may earn them a few extra page views, but people are far less likely to read the entire list and will rarely share it with anyone.

8. Make sure your headline is a compelling call-to-action. In the era of Twitter and Facebook, titles matter. Give your content a title that people can’t resist clicking through. 

9. Keep it clean. If the title of your post (or the content itself) is something that will make the sharer feel embarrassed for sharing it, your content will probably not go viral. “Remember,” Jon advises, “that when someone hits ‘share’, they are putting their reputation on the line by sharing with their friends.”

10. Most importantly, tweet, tweet, tweet.

  • Tweet out your article or video multiple times throughout the day and week.
  • Most brands send East Coast and West Coast morning tweets. Figure out what time your audiences are most likely to consume your content, and make sure you tweet it out at that time in multiple time zones. Use a queue to help with this.
  • Place “Retweet” buttons prominently on your page.
  • Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for retweets or comments. End an article with: “If you liked what you read, retweet and share the love, or share your thoughts in the comments section below.” This encourages users to engage with and share your content.

Libby Kober

E-Board Summer Check In Series: Chelsea

Now that you’re all caught up with Gabi, let’s find out what Chelsea has been up to this summer!

Chelsea, Fundraising

Where have you been spending the summer?
I have been spending this summer on campus taking classes and working. 

Did you take any trips or are you planning on taking any before the summer ends?
I really want to try and visit my friend who lives in New Jersey.She is on coop so I wont see her for a while unless I go this summer. I also want to try to go back to New York City and visit everyone from my last coop. 
What is on the top of your summer to-do list this year?
This summer I really want to go the Aquarium! I haven’t been there since high school and I really want to go see the penguins!
What are you most excited about for your return to Boston?
I am excited to be a college student again and to not be working 40 hours a week. Class is a nice break from co-op!
Will you be in class or on co-op during Fall 2012?
I will be in class!
Which NUPRSSA event are you most looking forward to?
I am of course looking forward to all of the fundraisers! It is a great way to raise some money and get the organization’s name out there.

Come back later this week to check in with Libby!

What have you been up to this summer?