How to write a good broadcast email

Keep the word count to 200 words or less

  • Remember that staff don’t have time to read the email twice.  Tell them what they need to know in a short message.
  • Avoid quotes as they generally don’t add value to your message

Keep the subject line short and relevant

The subject line should encourage staff to read if relevant to them. Tell the reader the key purpose of the email

Good

  • Launch of the XX XX Annual report
  • Update completed to ICT Forms on HSENet

Bad

  • Welcoming today's announcement
  • Training now available

Include a headline summarising key info

A headline is a brief summary of all the key information needed.1 or 2 sentences outlining the main purpose of the message.

Good

  • ‘The directive, which was brought in by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Richard Bruton T.D, bans the purchase of single-use catering items.’

Bad

  • (Repeating the subject line) Reminding managers not to purchase single-use catering items following ministerial directive

Keep the most relevant and important details at the top of the email

  • Such as dates, times, locations & links; this will allow people to determine the relevance of the email to them

Use everyday words

Good

  • See your GP
  • You can use all the community care services

Bad

  • You are entitled to avail of a complete range of community care services

Say exactly where the link is going

Be mindful of people with visual impairments who use screen readers.

Good

  • Download the medical card application form
  • Go to accounts
  • Apply for help with nursing home costs

Bad

  • click here
  • more

Hyperlink email addresses and websites

Good

Bad

Tell staff who the email is from

Example

  • From the HSE’s Data Protection Office

Write out ‘freephone’ and ‘phone’ to clarify the difference

Example

Freephone: 1800 45 45 55

Phone: 041 685 0300     

Check your email for grammar, spelling and simple language

  • The Hemmingway app: This app scores the readability of your email. Try to get the readability to level 12 or below for staff audience. This can be done by shortening sentences, adding bullets, using simpler language and cutting out unnecessary jargon.
  • Grammarly: This website will give you a score for grammar, spelling and punctuation and gives relevant corrections.