June 2007 Vol. 12 Issue 2
Mind your e-mail manners when sending to groups

Summertime is quickly approaching and that means many county fairs will soon be under way. It also means you’re going to start receiving mass e-mail messages about missing signs or 4-H projects from all over the state.

We all receive unwanted e-mails but how can we help reduce this ongoing problem?

A good place we can start is by reviewing the different Extension e-mail groups and choosing the right one for each message.

Did you know that anyone with any sort of Extension appointment receives any e-mail sent to the “ces.everyone” e-mail list? That is a lot of people (a whopping 1,013 to be exact!), and includes campus faculty and staff, county educators, program assistants, county support staff, county offices, and even the Dean of the College of Agriculture!

What you need to ask yourself is, “Who really needs to know what I want to send out?” For example, do campus faculty and staff need to know about a missing fair sign or that “Smith County is moving to the fairgrounds”?

It is understandable that county offices want everyone to be informed about their county. However, campus staff can look up county fair dates by visiting www.ydae.purdue.edu and clicking on the 4-H link.

Target your message to the right group to reduce the messages that go to “everyone.” One suggestion would be to keep e-mails such as “Smith County fax is down” or “Smith County has moved to the fairgrounds” to two specific e-mail groups:

  • fieldext_mg@agad.purdue.edu

  • ccs_in_mg@agad@purdue.edu

The “fieldext” list goes to all Extension educators, while the “ccs” list goes to all county clerical support staff. Targeting your message to one of these two groups can reduce unnecessary e-mails.

E-mails of a personal nature, such as a death in a family or a medical leave announcement, should be questioned before sending to the whole CES e-mail group. Usually, these e-mails include a lot of personal medical and contact information for condolences. Is this something you want to share with more than 1,000 people?

Melinda Bradbury, AgIT Support Services Team Leader, is responsible for maintaining the Extension e-mail groups. She suggests that before hitting the send button, consider who will receive the e-mail and make sure that your message is important to each recipient.

We all get our fill of e-mails on a daily basis, but taking the time to use the best group for your message will start to reduce the overload in our inboxes. Maybe with a little forethought, we can start to reduce our CES mail group abuse and start to consider who really needs to know this information (such as the Dean).

Natalie Federer, nfederer@purdue.edu
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