I always say my mother gave me a great gift. She taught me professionalism even when you're writing a "go to hell" letter. You want to get your point across so that the person on the other side looks forward to the journey.
What I don't understand is...where has that gone?
My son's English teacher is teaching them to write professional emails. In fact, it is the only way she will respond to you. I'm proud to say, he has the professionalism down, and that makes me very happy because I see this as a lost art.
I wish I could tell you how many emails and messages I get a month, as a publisher or an author, where the author of the email has no concern over the content of the email. Misspelled words. Missing punctuation. Horrible grammar. And I'm here to tell you that "text" talk isn't professional at all.
What happened to the days of Dear Mrs. Smith, or To Whom it May Concern? Anymore, emails or messages start off with Hey!
Don't get me wrong. If I'm emailing my BFF about having a decaf, non-fat, mocha, well then yes, I might start out the conversation with, Hey! However, if I'm inquiring about a job, or an opportunity you can GUARANTEE I'm going to do some research on whom I'm writing the email to and I'm going to address them correctly.
I have, in fact, tossed out submissions for my publishing house when I feel that the professionalism from the author isn't there. An email in all caps will not be read and if you start a query out with Hey there is a huge chance it won't be read either.
There is a wealth of information out there on writing professional emails, letters, queries, etc. With the world at your fingertips, why wouldn't you try a little harder to impress?
With that said, join me here tomorrow when I go over the fundamentals of a professional email. (Feel free to share it with anyone who could benefit.)
Bernadette Marie is an Internationally Bestselling author of Contemporary Romance as well as a mother of 5, and owner of 5 Prince Publishing and Illumination Author Events. Read her full bio here.