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Netiquette Banner Netiquette, by Virginia Shea, page 94

The point is that when you introduce yourself via email, not only are you making a first impression, you're also leaving a written record. So use caution, especially when dealing with powerful people.

Additionally, not all chairmen and CEOs are as willing to receive information directly as Gates is. The fact that your company president's email address is listed in the organizational directory doesn't necessarily mean he wants to hear directly from his rank and file employees. And even if he doesn't mind, your own boss, or your boss's boss, might not be too pleased to learn that you circumvented his authority and went straight to the top. It depends on the politics of your organization.

Finally, some executives do have their secretaries screen their email. So if you do decide to send email directly to your company president -- or to Bill Gates, for that matter -- don't assume that he'll be the only person to read it. Bill may decide to hire an email screener now that his address is public knowledge.

Q. When should I give out another person's email address?

Anytime it would also be appropriate to give out a work phone number.

Emailing the company

A true story:

Two middle managers at a large computer company -- both married to other people -- were having an affair. They started sending each other pornographic love notes over the company email system. One day, one of them accidentally sent one of these missives to everyone at company headquarters. Both were fired.

The moral of this story is:

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