I spent some time recently responding to the comments that come through to this blog. It’s amazing how much of it is spam – junk messages that have nothing to do with the site. While it’s necessary to weed out the spam from time to time, I began to think about how others receive our communications. Is it important to them, or are we just part of their junk mail pile? Let’s take a minute to review some tips to make sure that your communication doesn’t end up in the junk folder.
Select the proper medium to communicate your message. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to hold a conversation over email, text, or “instant” message. Whenever you’re sending an email that will generate lots of discussion, then a meeting is probably a better forum for discussing that topic. Nobody likes to scroll through response after response just to get caught up on the discussion that’s taken place so far.
Be sure that there is something of value to your reader in your communications. This is especially important when writing a blog, sending out marketing materials, or anything else where you hope to get some benefit from the communication. Your message needs to be relevant to the audience in question, so take some time to understand who your recipients are and that they have a common need.
Include only the proper recipients – resist the urge to reply all or send an email blast to the world. The world of the spammer is geared to send out massive numbers of messages in the hopes that just a few respond. When you include everyone you can think of that might possibly know something about a topic, it is human nature to think that someone else on the message will respond. You’re likely to get fewer responses, and certainly fewer quality responses, from this type of bulk email. Instead, take the time to find out who knows what information you need and target your message to this smaller audience.
Make sure that your reader understands what you want from them with a proper call to action. Technology folks can get caught up in this one – sending an email full of acronyms and jargon but failing to get to the point. Ensure that what you need or expect from the communication is clearly spelled out in your message.
Get to the point – short and sweet works every time. Avoid rambling and unnecessary background information, and stick to the facts. If your reader has to scroll down, then the body of your contents probably will work better as an attachment.
As project managers, our sole purpose is the successful execution of our assigned projects as defined by the triple constraint of schedule, cost, and quality. The hallmark of a good project manager is communication. Your communications to your project teams and to your customers and stakeholders are critical to your success, and you certainly don’t want to become “delete-able” in a spam-filled world. Apply these tips before sending out that next communication and both you and your recipients will benefit.
At Braintrust Consulting Group, we know all too well the value of high quality communications. To learn more about our course offerings and how your communication skills can be enhanced through our “back of the room” training style, click on the Services link at the top of the page or contact us to find out more.