Holiday season means days away from the office for partners, clients and employees – and it means a lot of Out of Office (OOO) messages, delivered automatically to your mail inbox. Some of them are useful, some funny, some are mysteries; it all depends on what you want to achieve and how you do it.

For useful OOO messages, take a look at the following guidelines.

1. Keep in mind that every message from your account is a business card for your company. Never underestimate the image factor of a well done (or botched) email. For better or for worse, your OOO message represents you.

2. Stay consistent – align it with your usual mail style and your overall company culture. A banker’s message will sound different to an art director’s. Let the message reflect your usual personal com-munication style, even if it’s just 1-2 lines.

3. Also, provide useful information because that is the most important reason of an OOO message. Give those details that you would like to know yourself if you received the message: Time that you will be away from the office, day of return, indication of forwarding, alternative persons to contact instead of you.

4. If you state that your mails are forwarded to a colleague, make sure that your colleague is aware and knows what to do with those mails. If you provide alternative addresses where mails can be sent, make sure to spell them correctly in the message.

5. Finally: Deactivate the message after your return. Even better: Set a final date for the transmission of this message. It might be embarassing if people who receive your OOO message after your indicated return have to remind you that you are actually back to work…

About the author: Robert Bauer is managing partner at asoluto, one of Austria’s leading PR companies and local affiliate of PRGN. Asoluto’s 20 communications specialists provide a unique combination of traditional and digital skills and experience since the foundation in 2011. (www.asoluto.com/en)

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