Corporate E-Mail Signatures and Disclaimers

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by Douglas, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. Douglas

    Douglas Stupid ass member

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    I'd like to begin exerting some control over our e-mail signatures and taglines, which at the moment are totally at employee discretion. Everyone is pretty professional about it, but a few use curlycue fonts and sort of shockingly, one of our straightest, tightest, most senior execs uses a background behind his e-mail. Nothing obnoxious, but it sort of looks like a homemaker who's found a new toy in her Outlook Express.

    What's the best way to do this? We're small enough that I could simply make an edict, but what format is best? HTML vs. Rich Text? Are there cheap software packages that integrate with Outlook to do this? And now that we've opened the can, how about disclaimers? We're not a law firm or anything, but are these disclaimers worth anything, and are they recommended?

    Appreciate any thoughts from those who have been through this.
     
  2. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    We kept it simple. We have a confidentiality notice that is part of everyone's email signature in Outlook. I think one of our sysadmins added the confidentiality text as part of group policy in Exchange, and from there everyone updated their sig to include name/title. The nice thing about this is that it translates to straight text when you reply to an email that is text-only.

    The confidentiality notice is pretty comical when you look at 90% of our email correspondence. But if you're talking pricing/terms of sale - or various legal issues...then it's good to have.
     
  3. Joffrey

    Joffrey Senior member

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    I heard the confidentiality notices are actually worthless but lawyers like to use them anyway.
     
  4. otc

    otc Senior member

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    definitely not rich text and no fancy html. Some minor color/bold/italic adjustment is fine but avoid any more HTML than that.

    I believe the confidentiality notices are legally useless but many recipients don't know that they are useless and will thus be scarred into following the instructions. Every law firm seems to do it though...


    There are some situations where what you write can matter but if you aren't a lawyer, it is unlikely that you will be in a situation where certain internal communications have different legal standing and thus might call for a special subject line or notice. There may be some IRS things you have to put (I see a lot of IRS Circular 230 notices) and some people may like to put some cover your ass language saying that they aren't intending to provide tax/legal advice (almost always preceded by what sure looks like tax/legal advice) and thus you take any actions at your own risk.
     
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    I tend to agree but general counsel won't let me say that in my official capacity. Even then, let's say a pricing agreement gets into the wrong hands - does the agreement make them un-see the agreement and magically forget the details?
     
  6. Douglas

    Douglas Stupid ass member

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    Why not rich text? Is it not cross-compatible enough?
     
  7. otc

    otc Senior member

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    There are enough issues with html not being fully compatible.

    Especially since a lot of your recipients are probably using phones these days...
     
  8. Hillsy

    Hillsy New Member

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    The 'Exclaimer' program will make everyone's signature match a template you create.

    email signature software

    They also did a guide on the norms of email signature design (colours to avoid, optimal sizes, etc.) which is worth skimming.
     
  9. Douglas

    Douglas Stupid ass member

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    There may be a 99% chance that link is :spam: but damn it's a pretty good resource. Thanks.
     
  10. gort

    gort Senior member

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    COMIC SANS
     
  11. Douglas

    Douglas Stupid ass member

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    Our main order girl in one division uses comic sans.

    :facepalm:

    Hence my looking into this.
     
  12. chrisjr

    chrisjr Senior member

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    Sorry to hijack but what does everyone use as their standard font for email text? Times New Roman sz 11? Company recently switched to using Gill Sans MT in all company files, so I switched over (sz 10). I think I prefer TNR though.
     
  13. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    Douglas counter argument - I change my tag line every quarter or so, now it reads '60 days left to the fiscal year, will you make your number or not?' so there can be room for different sigs in an organization

    But we do have a corporate standard in terms of fonts and so on
     
  14. Joffrey

    Joffrey Senior member

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    I really dislike all signatures in business emails. Even in personal ones. I use Trebuchet 10 point
     
  15. JayJay

    JayJay Senior member

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    Same here, I hate them all. And, I get livid when I see those tacky backgrounds. Interestingly, I've noticed only the lower level employees in my workplace using disclaimers, upper level folks don't.
     

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