The internet has brought many advantages to society such as the ability to communicate at a faster pace and at ease – just look at Skype! However, there are times when using electronic methods to communicate is wrong and inappropriate.
Take for example the recent text messages used to notify staff at the Hastie Group that they no longer had jobs (you can view the article here), before reading this article you may think that it’s a no brainer, no organisation should send resignation notifications via SMS, yet organisations continue to do it. So when is it appropriate to send electronic methods to communicate to peers, consumers, friends, colleagues or employees?
First off, it is NEVER appropriate to send negative text messages/emails to another individual. Remember what is written can stay forever and it’s no surprise that emails/text messages that are abusive, hurtful or extremely rude surface on the world wide web and go viral. So the rule of thumb is – don’t use electronic communication methods if you don’t want your message being forwarded on.
Sending emails/text messages as reminders for upcoming appointments is acceptable, but never use text message to cancel an appointment. When canceling, proper etiquette is to call and if that doesn’t work, then you can send an email/text message for follow up.
When sending formal invitations to guests of significance for key events DO NOT send electronic communications, think about how many emails you receive yourself. It’s likely that your email will be missed, therefore in the first instance send a printed invitation, then follow up via phone/email. DO NOT send wedding invitations using electronic methods, these should only be sent via the post.
So to sum up, the rule of thumb to use is if you are wanting to promote an important event or invite an important guest, use printed communication methods. If its for tactical items such as event reminders then SMS/text messages is fine.
Until next time,
Cents and Sensibility
Julia Taine, Executive Director of Vent2Me, is a marketing problem solver and mentor. A mover and a shaker, Julia sees a niche in an industry, and takes it, by making it her own. Julia started Vent2Me, because people she knew were struggling with their online presence and their digital strategies. Julia knew she could help these people, and so here she is today.