Lose Lame Lines

An often-overlooked element in any workplace email or memo is the simple little Subject Line. Depending on their content, they can add to the message or detract from the workplace writer’s image of competency. So … here are a few tips to Lose Lame Lines:

  • No Subject’ – the absence of a subject line is really lame. That says the writer was too lazy to think of something or too unimaginative. While either could be true, neither reader assumption helps the writer’s credibility. So … anything is better than nothing.
  • ‘Meeting’ – at least better than ‘no subject’, but not much. It does tell the reader something about the message. Less helpful if the reader attends lots of meetings, however.
  • ‘Project A-47 Update Meeting’ – now were getting somewhere. The reader knows what the message is all about, how important it probably is and where to file it if needed.
  • ‘Critical Project A-47 Update Meeting, Thu. 9/7, 10:00’ – even better. This very helpful subject line may be all the reader needs to know … or read.
  • The Project A-47 meeting is very important and I hope all of you will make every effort to attend and contribute to ….’. Talk about TMI. Really lame to begin the message in the subject line and have it run on and on. If you know people who do that, show them this post and hope for the best.

So,  subject lines can be lame with too little information or too much. Your challenge is to find the ideal number of words that provides most of your readers the most value most of the time.

Happy Workplace Writing!