Local News

March 12, 2014

Electronic communication has pitfalls

PLATTSBURGH — SUNY Plattsburgh adjunct lecturer Jerry Kelly doesn’t allow cellphones in his classroom.

“It’s just one of those things that I find personally rude,” he told attendees at his 2014 Business Etiquette Series session “Electronic Etiquette.”

Held in the Amnesty Room in Angell College Center, the session focused on good manners involving email, voice mail, cellphones and social media.

To demonstrate the need for appropriate cellphone usage in the professional world, Kelly showed videos that included a montage of students and employees getting in trouble for texting or calling at work, in class and at the dinner table.

While he doesn’t allow cellphones in the classroom, he said, it is usually up to the individual professor.


On the topic of email, Kelly showed the students an example of what not to write in an email message, and students discussed the proper way to send a formal email to a professional source or employer.

He emphasized use of clean language and addressing the email to the specific person.

Kelly told his audience not write to the person like he or she is a friend and to look over the text to make sure it is free of grammatical errors.


Kelly also discussed how to leave a formal, appropriate voice-mail message.

He said students should think about what they are planning to say before they call. That way, if they have to leave a voice mail, they will be prepared with their name, contact information and the actual message.

“When you’re leaving a voice mail, speak slowly and clearly,” Kelly said. “Always repeat your name, your number and if you have an email address. And keep it short. 

“There’s nothing more irritating than having to listen to that whole message several times just because you missed that number.”

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