Monthly Archives: November, 2013

Use your work emails effectively


Treat your federal email account as public property, because it is: Any of your emails can be read by your agency or FOIA’d at any time. So never include potentially incriminating, embarrassing or personally confidential information in work emails. Check the first and last name of the recipient of each of your emails before sending or forwarding it. A cautionary tale: I previously worked with a federal manager who used his government account to send a friend an email that cruelly disparaged one of his colleagues. But immediately after hitting “send,” the manager realized that he had accidentally sent the…

Writing effective emails


The faster and more easily a document can be read and understood, the more likely it is to be read and understood. Convey messages with as few words as possible and ruthlessly deleting unnecessary information without cutting essential background information. Open your first email to a new contact with a concise introduction that quickly conveys context. For example: “Dear Joe: Lily Whiteman here from Federal Times. X suggested that I contact you as part of my search for information about Y.” Get to the point quickly: Explain what needs to be done, by whom and when within the first few…