August 2003
Issue 8
Volume 8
 
 
 

In This Issue
Apology from the Editor
Why People Don't Know Us
HTML E-Mail Basics
Grammar Trap: Differ from vs. Differ with


Apology from the Editor

I'm sure many of you alert readers will notice that it's September but that you are just now receiving the August issue of "On Target."

Unfortunately, I got sick and just ran out of the time and energy to get you the August issue in--well--August.

I hope that this will not happen again, believe me!

Laura Hoelscher (lah@purdue.edu)


Why People Don't Know Us

When I travel around state, I pick up local newspapers to see if Purdue Extension is mentioned. I am not surprised to see columns and news articles, covering topics from financial security to crop health, written by Purdue Extension educators.

Unfortunately, I am also not surprised to see how many different ways we refer to ourselves. I believe this contributes greatly to the problem of people not knowing who we are.

While talking with my wife about this, I came up with a comparison that may help illustrate my point. Kathy works for a bank. Let's call it "Smithville Bank."

In news releases, speeches, and other communications, bank staff always refer to themselves as Smithville Bank employees. For example, it's never "Jane Jones, Bank Teller" or "Jane Jones, Smithville Teller." It's "Jane Jones, Smithville Bank Teller."

Let's say Smithville Bank is located in Smithville, Indiana, but it has a branch in Putnam, Indiana. If Jane Jones were a teller in Putnam, It would be a marketing nightmare if she called herself a "Putnam Bank Teller." She is "Jane Jones, Smithville Bank Teller, Putnam Branch."

Get it? "Smithville Bank" is the common--and consistently used--denominator.

"Purdue Extension" should be ours.

For example, it shouldn't be "Susan James, Extension Educator" or "Susan James, White County Extension Educator." It should be "Susan James, Purdue Extension Educator" or Susan James, Purdue Extension Educator, White County."

Likewise, it shouldn't be "Joe James, Agronomy Extension Specialist." It should be "Joe James, Purdue Extension Agronomy Specialist."

We build name recognition by repeating the same name.

Steve Cain (cain@purdue.edu)

HTML E-Mail Basics

The major difference between regular e-mail and HTML e-mail is that an HTML e-mail is sent in an HTML format that makes your message look like a Web page. Creating HTML e-mails can take some time, though, so make sure that's what you want before you start.

HTML E-mail Creation

With e-mail using occasional pictures and links, don't worry about design. But, if you want something more complex, plan it first.

You will proceed differently depending on the capabilities of your e-mail program. Some Web elements may be accessible through the menu bar, such as:
  • Tables,
  • Backgrounds,
  • Bulleted/numbered lists,
  • Horizontal lines,
  • Images, and
  • Links.
Microsoft Word and Outlook can create simple or complex HTML e-mails. I recommend an advanced editing program, such as Macromedia's Dreamweaver, to create complex HTML e-mails because advanced programs create smaller HTML e-mails. After saving your file, you can send the e-mail using Microsoft Outlook.

Tables

The basic unit of an HTML e-mail is the table. Be cautious about placing tables inside of tables, or nesting tables. The more complex your tables, the greater the chance an e-mail program will mess it up. Also, complex tables load more slowly because the whole nested table must load before anything shows. Meanwhile, your recipient is staring at a blank screen, waiting for the e-mail to appear.

For e-mails over two pages or with lots of images, create several tables one after the other, and divide your information into several tables. By the time your recipient scrolls down in the e-mail, the information in the next table will be loaded already.

If you would like to see samples of HTML e-mail, visit:

Simple: http://www.ag.purdue.edu/agcomm/news/agresearch or
Complex: http://www.ag.purdue.edu/broadbalk/emailsample.htm.

If you have comments or questions about HTML e-mail, let me know.

Ginny Retzner (ginnyjr@purdue.edu)

Grammar Trap: Differ from vs. Differ with

These two similar phrases mean different things.

"Differ from" means to be unlike.

Example: I differ from my brother. He is taller than I am.

"Differ with" means to disagree.

Example: I differ with my brother about the importance of height.

Do you have a grammar (or usage) trap you'd like to see discussed? Do you have a tip that will help the rest of us avoid one? If so, please let me know.

Visit our archive for past "Grammar Traps."

Laura Hoelscher


We want to hear from you. Do you have a communication question? Do you have a comment on this issue of On Target? If so, please e-mail any of our writers.

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