Professional Communication in the Workplace

Professional Communication
in the Workplace
Lance Kissler,
Marketing & Communications
• Overview of basic communication theory
• Understanding phone etiquette
• Learning the principles of proper email
Basic Communication Theory
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Basic Communication Theory
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Email vs. Phone
• Convenience; stop/start
as needed
• Review the message
• Focus the conversation
• Attachments; links
• Mulitple recipients
• Written record
• Prior contacts
• Quick questions;
• Clarify points immediately
• Everyone participating at
the same time
• Initial contact for new
people; follow-up with
Source |
Appropriate Response Time
• Same day if possible
• If a reply requires research or more
information, follow up to confirm you’ve
received the message and that you are
working on a complete reply
Answering Phone Calls
• Be polite and courteous
– Remember: the tone of your voice conveys its
own message
• Provide your name, office and
• Speak slowly and clearly
• Ask for clarification of details; take notes if
Transferring Phone Calls
• Inform the person you are going to transfer
them shortly
• Call the person you are transferring to
• If the person is there, provide a summary
• If the person is not there, return to caller;
ask if they would like to be transferred to
voice mail
• Provide the caller with the person’s #
Leaving Messages
• Repeat detailed information, such as:
– Name
– Organization/office
– Contact info (alternative contact methods)
– Purpose of the call
• Speak slowly and clearly
– Spell out email addresses
• Be concise; don’t leave long messages
Taking Messages
• Ensure accuracy
• Record: date/time, caller, contact info,
organization/office, purpose of call,
specific details
• Tip: use a checklist to keep track of
messages that require follow-up
Voicemail Greetings
• Have a professional greeting
– Provide your name, organization, office, etc.
• State how long you will be out of the office
• Provide multiple contact information
options or emergency contact info
Forwarding Voicemessages
• Record a summary/intro about the
• Inform the recipient if you have responded
to the caller
Email: Composing & Replying
• Greet new contacts (formal):
– Greetings,
– Dear [Name],
– To Whom It May Concern (only if you don’t know the
recipient’s name)
• Greet known contacts (casual):
– [Name],
– Good [time of day],
• Resource:
Email: Composing & Replying
• Use a signature
Name, title
Organization, office
Contact info
Other relevant info
May require a confidentiality disclaimer
• Use concise subject lines with keywords
– Gives recipients a quick summary before opening
– Allows for quicker searching in email inbox
– If email topic changes, rename the subject line
Email: CC, BCC & Forwarding
• CC: carbon copy
– include additional recipients as an FYI
– seen by TO: and BCC: recipients
• BCC: blind carbon copy
– TO: and CC: recipients do not see these people
– these people see TO: and CC: recipients
• Forward
– Usually better than BCC
Email: Emoticons
• Symbols that express emotion
– Happy Face :-)
– Sad Face :-(
– Etc.
• Not appropriate for formal communication
• Best for casual communication, if you think it
enhances or clarifies the tone
Email: Attachments
• Reference attachments in the message body
• File types
avoid sending .EXE, .EPS
1-2MB file size per attachment
no more than 5-10MB total
use .ZIP to compress individual or multiple files
• Use service such as to send
large file attachments separately
Email: Assigning Priority
• Priority settings:
– Highest, High, Normal, Low, Lowest
– Tip: generally send “Normal” and reserve
“Highest” for messages that require an
immediate response or attention
• Not all email clients offer this function
Email: Grammar, Style, Etc.
• Use appropriate grammar; avoid jargon; explain
• Use punctuation
• Double-check spelling
• Formatting
– CAPS Lock, bullets, numbering, bold & italics, font
size, type & color, background
– HTML vs. text-only
• Refer to editorial style guide
Email: Out of Office Messages
• State how long you will be out of the office
• Will you be checking email while you are
• Provide emergency/alternative contact info
• Turn off when you return
Email: Your Email Address
• Select one that is easy to remember and
identifies you
– Pacific provides an “alias” option as an
alternative to your PUNetID
• Appropriate and professional words
• Examples:
– [email protected][email protected][email protected]
Email: Additional Resources
Lance Kissler
Director of Marketing
Marketing & Communications, University Relations
Pacific University
[email protected]
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