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Deploying Military Email Etiquette in Online Community Management


StevenM

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In the dynamic world of online community management, where clear communication is paramount, adopting military email etiquette can be a strategic asset. Borrowing insights from military practices, we explore how well-formatted emails can enhance the effectiveness of community management, ensuring that messages are concise, purposeful, and easily comprehensible.

1. The Power of Keywords in Online Community Communications

In military communication, keywords like ACTION, SIGN, INFO, DECISION, REQUEST, and COORD are employed to categorize the purpose of emails. Similarly, online community managers can benefit from using clear subject lines or tags to signify the nature of their messages. These markers help recipients quickly identify the email's intent and relevance, streamlining communication in bustling online forums.

2. Embracing the BLUF: Clarity in Online Community Messages

The Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF) is a concise declaration of an email's purpose and required action. For community managers, adopting a BLUF approach can enhance clarity. A well-structured BLUF should answer the essential five W's: who, what, where, when, and why. In online forums, consider placing the BLUF prominently at the beginning of posts, ensuring it stands out for easy reference.

3. Conciseness and Active Voice: Online Community Engagement

Just as military professionals favor brevity in their emails, online community managers should strive for succinct communication. Shorter, focused messages are more effective in engaging community members. Utilize active voice to convey information directly, avoiding passive constructions. If additional context is necessary, present it as bullet points after the BLUF to facilitate rapid comprehension.

4. Linking to Attachments: Efficient Information Sharing

To prevent inbox congestion, military personnel often link to attachments rather than sending files directly. In online community management, this practice translates to sharing resources through web links or platform integrations. Encourage community members to access relevant materials externally, promoting efficient information sharing and reducing email clutter.

Conclusion: Elevating Online Community Management

Effective communication lies at the core of successful online community management. By adopting military email etiquette principles, such as keyword utilization, the BLUF approach, conciseness, active voice, and efficient attachment handling, community managers can enhance their communication strategies. The result is a more streamlined, transparent, and engaging online community environment that fosters collaboration and knowledge sharing.


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