Friday, October 19, 2012

Hit “send” then “forehead”

Admit it. You cringed when you read about the soon-to-be-unemployed flack who fat fingered Google Inc.’s quarterly earnings report three hours early yesterday. You cringed because you’ve done it. We all have, although maybe not so spectacularly. 

RR Donnelley, the top SEC filing agent in the country and the alleged culprit in this caper, submits thousands of reports every year for their many clients. But this low-tech premature explication involved Google. And while we should have delighted in the delicious irony of a keyboard malfunction triggering a tummy-flipping $22 billion free fall for the tech giant, it just struck too close to home for us to really savor it. 
Artist's rendering of the
cliff that the flack was
thrown from after
hitting "send."

So if you want to avoid future embarrassment, just remember this one simple tip: When drafting a sensitive email—or any email for that matter—do not fill in the “To” line until you have edited and approved the final draft. This is particularly important when replying to emails with multiple recipients. 

When hitting “Reply,” simply cut the recipients from the “To” and the “Cc” lines, paste the names to the bottom of your email, and replace them when you’re ready to hit “Send.” Trust me. You’ll be glad you did.


  1. Any kind of sensitive email like that -- I draft it in Notepad. If I could get everyone to use it, I'd use the whiteboard in Basecamp.

  2. Notepad is a great idea, Mike. Thanks for the comment.