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PR Tips: Smile please, I am using an emoticon
Chloe | June 13, 2012
Ten years ago in the PR world a smiley face was something you wore on your raver t-shirt in your down time. Fast forward a decade and emoticons are used every day in business communications, a sort of shorthand for chumminess.
But overuse the emoticons and you could end up like a raver with a rattle – that is, someone who isn’t taken particularly seriously, not a good look when trying to impress a PR client or your boss.
So dear reader, before I dissolve into a day glo haze of festivals past (all this talk of raving is bringing back memories!) just take a reality check before you press the emoticon key and take heed of a few simple rules.
- Never ever use an emoticon in a first email to anyone – it will instantly mark you out as a lightweight.
- Think twice before you use the smiley face after you write something amusing. It’s like having a big arrow that points to the words SMILE PLEASE.
- Use an emoticon like a dress down Friday. That is, to show that you are relaxed member of the human race rather than a headline grabbing PR machine.
- Use them as freely as you see fit on Twitter, different rules apply to this uber laid back social network.
- Don’t over use emoticons in business emails. One is enough, any more and you run the risk of annoying your recipient.
And finally, don’t use it if you don’t know what it means. Consult Wikipedia’s list if you are unsure. There’s nothing more cringe makingthan getting it wrong >:X .
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Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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