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Modern Manners In A Digital Age

Modern Manners In A Digital Age

Our World | On 23, May 2013

Often when searching for something online, it is easy to get side tracked by an interesting search result that leads you into an obscure direction. The vagaries of search engines or, heaven help me, if I’ve strayed into Wikipedia and become link “clickingly” happy, means I’m often heard to exclaim, “well, I never knew that”, about something I had absolutely no interest in five minutes before.

My latest foray into the web led me, via a wedding anniversary search, into Debrett’s website, that unimpeachable guide of manners and etiquette. As communications are my particular thing I was fascinated to see that they have branched out in their coverage. No longer is it just about how to hold your tea cup or the correct way to address The Queen (it’s ‘Your Majesty’ and subsequently ‘Ma’am’ – to rhyme with ham, should the need arise). Now there is advice for the use of technology and your online behaviour or should I say “Netiquette”.

Online Etiquette

It all made very good sense and served to remind me of that all important piece of advice which is; if you wouldn’t say it face to face then don’t say it online. This applies in particular to social media, which we are all using with increasing frequency for the events industry, whether we are promoting ourselves or marketing a client event. It is all too easy to become hidden behind a corporate name and detached from your audience out in cyberspace. Most event marketing people are also no doubt juggling their own blogs, Twitter feeds and Facebook pages as well as their corporate identity and sometimes, a flippant remark or thoughtless comment can have far reaching effects. E-shots, emails, Tweets and so on need to be planned, crafted and considered if you are making them part of your event marketing mix. A well thought-out subject line will ensure that the message gets the attention it deserves rather than consigned to the recycle bin. The use of social media and electronic marketing has transformed the way we communicate with our audience but it is just another route to market and the content is what matters above all else. So remember always think before you press that send or post button, nothing remains confidential in cyberspace and the potential for damage is vast.

However, my absolute favourite piece of advice on social networking from Debrett’s had to be; “Don’t annoy your friends by constant, frantic poking.” Couldn’t agree more, who wants to be constantly poked?

Sandra Collins