Smiley Faces Can Help Or Hurt You
Do you include smiley faces in the press releases you send out for your company? How about in your other business communications? It’s a subject worth discussing. Well-placed emoticons — to the right recipients — can add a warm, human touch to your electronic communications. On the other hand, misuse of smiley faces et al can give an embarrassing and unprofessional vibe — the last thing you want in your business communications. Email is a flat medium. There are no vocal inflections or facial expressions to shade the meanings of words, so it’s easy to misunderstand the writer’s intention. If you are writing to someone you know well, a smiley face here and there can actually help get your real message across or strengthen the bond between you. If you don’t know the person getting the message, or whether it will be forwarded to unknown recipients, don’t take chances. The cutesy stuff could raise questions about your credibility and judgment. It may ensure your press releases goes straight to the junk mail folder. Use courtesy and common sense. Know your audience. The casualness of your conversation depends on the subject of your email and your relationship with the person with whom you’re corresponding.