Email Communication

BE CLEAR

Help effectively communicate your message by getting to your point briefly and directly.

  • Place key information at the top of the email.
  • Highlight key words in bold type and/or color.
  • Use descriptive subheads.
  • Use an informal, conversational tone and writing style; use contractions.
  • Avoid using both all capitals and all lowercase.
  • Title your emails with specific, descriptive subject lines.

BE CONCISE

Use a reader-friendly format, to include:

  • Number multiple steps
  • Short sentences (preferably 8-18 words)
  • Clear, commonly understood language
  • Sentences that are crisp, clear, and to the point
  • Short paragraphs to communicate a single idea, or bulleted lists for multiple points/ideas

BE COURTEOUS

Send “TO” to the person/s that are expected to take action.

Send a “CC” (courtesy copy) to those who need to be informed of your request.

Generally, it’s best to address one topic per email to help in easily filing and retrieving them later. If you must cover more than one topic, use the subject line to indicate the email topics. For example, “Three campus construction project updates.”

Before forwarding an email, always consider the confidentiality of the contents. This is especially true when forwarding a one-on-one email communication to multiple colleagues or the entire college. When in doubt, ask the person who wrote the email for permission to forward the message.


BE CAREFUL

Emails are the legal property of Sacramento City College and the Los Rios District and are public documents. They are subject to court subpoena in legal proceedings. Remember, email is not confined to a private communication and may become widely shared or made public, so use great care and tact, and review your written communication twice (or more) before expressing yourself in a way you might later regret.


A WORD ON SIGNATURES

Your signature line communicates your identity and location within the college (job title, contact information), but it also communicates the college’s identity. Use single-spaced lines, left justified, and at minimum include your full name, title, the college name, your phone number and email. Other than black, use only approved college colors for text.

Mary Jane Doe
Administrative Assistant
Sacramento City College
916-558-1111
DoeM@scc.losrios.edu

You may also add the college logo, address, website and/or your specific area or department name. However, if you decide to use the logo, be sure you are using one of the approved official college logos provided as png files, which are available for download on the college brand page on the Public Information Office site.


ADA COMPLIANCE

Do not insert a file directly into the body of an email. Rather, type the information into the body of the email, and attach the document (flier, photo, image) to the email. Inserting a file directly into the email prevents readability for users with visual impairments.