In the WikiLeaks era, even the most seemingly protected and innocuous communications must be approached with the same care and consideration that would be afforded a news release, a tweet, or a Facebook post. Because before you know it, a message intended for certain eyes only could become the public face your institution shows to the world.
To me the most interesting thing about this whole ordeal (besides the whole balance of public diplomacy thing) is that these cables are essentially emails. When I email my boss about dealings with another agency, or about how I’m writing a plan, these are the things that are discussed. Much like diplomats talk about diplomats from other countries or how they plan to utilize the information gleaned during the course of their work.
The cables released by WikiLeaks are, by and large, internal emails, and now they’re laid bare.
A very smart person long ago told me to write emails as if each is published in the paper individually. Because they very well may be one day.