Good E-Mail Practices Will Help to Avoid ‘Smoking Gun' E-Mails

August 29, 2008 Published Work
White Collar Crime Report - BNA, Inc.

E-mail has become the preferred method of communication in most business settings and has developed a vocabulary and syntax all its own. E-mail is a remarkably easy and efficient mode of communication. However, because e-mail is less formal, thoughts are often conveyed absent the care, discernment, and social governors that regularly accompany face-to-face communication and formal correspondence. As a result, the phenomenon of the ‘‘smoking gun'' e-mail has emerged. The smoking gun e-mail reads like a water cooler conversation; it is unfiltered and rife with offhand and ill-considered remarks. Such banter, memorialized in black and white, divorced from textual and temporal context, can become incendiary to individuals, companies, and organizations.
Reproduced with permission from White Collar Crime Report, Vol. 03, No. 18, 08/29/2008, pp. 600-602. Copyright 2008 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033)