E-mail Guidelines

Background
The standard white background should be used for all e-mails sent on behalf of the university. Colored backgrounds, pictures, patterns, and decorative motifs detract from a professional impression, and should be avoided. Personalization of e-mails (including the use of the logo) may:

  • add to an e-mail's file size;
  • increase the traffic load on the e-mail servers;
  • display as an attachment in the recipient's In Box;
  • cause limited In Box space to fill up faster; and
  • increase the risk of spreading viruses and spyware.

Font
Acceptable fonts are Verdana, Arial, Tahoma, or Times New Roman in 10-point size. Uncommon fonts do not always translate to the recipient as intended.

Signature
Your e-mail signature section should include only the identifying information that would otherwise be included in any official communication (e.g., business cards, letters, etc.). This information should contain no graphics or images for reasons stated above.

For external signatures, the following information is suggested:

  • Name
  • Title
  • George Fox University
  • Telephone
  • Website link

For internal signatures:

  • Name
  • Title
  • Telephone extension
To create an automatic signature in Outlook, select "Tools," then "Options." Choose the "mail format" tab. Use the "signature picker" to create your personal signature line.

E-mail etiquette
Review your messages for accuracy in spelling and punctuation. Avoid backgrounds, stationery, or graphics. Use conversational grammar. Do not use all caps or all lower case. Use punctuation. When you will be out of the office for an extended time, use the "out of office assistant" or "auto forward" features.

Appropriate uses
E-mail correspondence is the property of George Fox University and use of such should be limited to official business purposes.

E-mails are more formal than verbal communication and less formal than written communication. Please remember the relational component of organizational communication - face-to-face communication is preferable. Use a phone call when necessary for efficiency, e-mail when appropriate, and send a letter when formality is necessary.

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