Margaret McGann

Would Emily Post approve of your manners?

In communications and marketing, good manners, personal branding, public relations, social media, writing on August 30, 2010 at 8:33 am

Good manners and courtesy make life and work easier and smoother. And these qualities are especially important in communications and public relations where we are in constant contact with others.

But sometimes simple etiquette seems to perplex or elude people who work in this industry. I recently received a bare bones “can you endorse me?” request for a recommendation on LinkedIn that took me aback. It came from someone whom I haven’t spoken to in years and only worked with once on a small project a decade ago that didn’t end particularly well. This got me thinking about the many emails, voice mails and other communications I receive that lack basic thoughtfulness and civility.

Good manners are simply the small courtesies and gestures that consider and respect the feelings of other people.

Here’s a reminder of five simple tips for good communications manners:

  1. To paraphrase: communicate with others as you would like them to communicate with you
  2. Be clear, concise and specific about why you are making contact
  3. Give the date and time you need a response
  4. Include what you will do in return (answering the “what’s in it for me” question)
  5. Thank them for their time and consideration

For more on how to make friends and keep them in this business or any other visit the website of Emily Post ( or Miss Manners (  Emily Post even has an online etiquette encyclopedia ( that can provide the answer to almost any question you have about manners.

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