Posts Tagged ‘communications’

Of communication filters

It’s a standard ritual before one leaves for a holiday.

Turn on ‘out of office’ on your email client whose message generally says something along the lines of

  • being away for a specific period of time
  • email responses will be delayed
  • if it is urgent please text/call

And that’s pretty much it.

It does nothing at all to help you manage the emails that will come from people around the world. If, like everyone I know, you have a handheld device those emails keep coming in relentlessly and depending on your device either there’s a red light flashing or not.

Ironically, with the phone there is not even the opportunity to have an out of office message. I have always been amazed at that huge hole in service. If anyone knows that you are not in your normal area of operation, it is your phone service provider. You shouldn’t even have to set it up. If the MSP knows you are out of your normal zone, you are out of office and every caller is reminded that you are not where you should be. ‘Do you still want to continue? At least give the called the information and let him/her decide’.

And lastly social media. When you are traveling the messages, tweets, notifications just pile up. You don’t have the time to go through it all, and something important could be missed.

All in all a big head ache!!Image

During the holidays, I was a victim of the above. There was content overload and trying to cope with it all was a struggle which I lost pretty early on.

And I am playing catch up.

I wonder what the opportunity is for filters that channel the information so that you are able to pick up the important pieces and let the rest just lie there happily ignored.

Perhaps a filter that would have parameters such as ‘let calls/emails/tweets of the following individuals’ through. This helps you focus on the important bits.

You could even set it up for time periods when you have more time. So a kind of dial up/dial down opportunity as well.

Filters that are dynamic ie by time of day or week. Maybe Monday mornings you want minimal interruption whereas in the midst of a conference call you would welcome them.

I think this may be the next big thing in communications development where you have the ability to decide how much of the information you want to see, and when.

Completely coincidentally while I was contemplating this blog, my brother in law @jprangaswami @jobsworth wrote about filtering, far more comprehensively and intelligently than I ever could. If you are keen, do read it here. Filtering: Seven Principles.

As marketers we need to be aware of the need to help consumers receive and digest the volume of content we send their way. And relating this back to my previous post, shouting louder or more often only makes a bad problem worse. You don’t want to be filtered out now do you?


What’s wrong with this picture?

Last week I went to a show and like many other shows I have attended they were very strict about banning photographs during the show.
Now, I understand completely that the flash from cameras can distract the performer. Many museums and art galleries, for example, allow photography but no flash.
But I am talking about a complete ban on any kind of photography.

To my mind this seems like a hangover from old fashioned thinking, which goes something like this : Don’t show the people what we do. Let them come and find out for themselves.

But this goes against what we have seen so frequently from time immemorial, and accentuated more recently since the arrival of social media, that giving people a taste gets them more attracted to the main event.

Many magicians do ban recording because they don’t want the trick to be given away. There is probably some merit in it. But as a lay man even if I see a video of someone making an elephant disappear I still want to go and see for myself.

In fact I think that video of the vanishing elephant is likely to be circulated more widely than a line in his/her press release and get far greater interest in the act.

Similarly I believe seeing pictures of a show, either on someone’s social media feed, or on an email has the potential to get spread far and wide and bring more people in to the show.

Perhaps while performer has a Facebook page and has accepted that customers lead the conversation they are still, like many big brands, trying to control the messaging rather than let consumers own it, spread it and bring more people in to the tent and rack up those dollars.

7 email blunders to avoid

September 3, 2009 Leave a comment

Email’s been around for a long long time, yet it is amazing how the blunders mentioned in this article occur on almost a daily basis.

The 7 mentioned here are

1. Pay close attention. Don’t multitask

2. Don’t fall victim to auto fill. Cross check all names in the To and cc list. Especially the bcc list if you have one.

3. Please find attached. Attach document as soon as you refer to it. (I attach my document right in the beginning of my email, so I don’t forget it.)

4. Beware of reply all. Especially if by some chance there are clients/customers on the original email

5. Take care with those you copy. The incessant need to keep everyone informed about everything at a low cost means CCs are the default for emails.

6. Don’t be trigger happy. Especially while using PDAs. Besides potential for errors also sound brusque, even if you put the ubiquitous line ‘please excuse typos and short responses as this was sent from my PDA’

7. Be professional.

To this list I would add..there is still nothing that beats talking. It should be a crime that people email each other on the same floor in an office.

So the first blunder to avoid should be. Don’t email, if you can walk over and/or talk.

One should nearly make a check list of these and tick them before hitting that ‘Send’ button.

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