We have all considered this philosophical phrase, “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” However, for the purpose of this blog, let’s alter it slightly to relate it to how we communicate in IT.
If we send an email out and no one opens or reads it, did we communicate?
Unlike the prior statement, we don’t need to debate this. The answer is no. Assuming we even monitor the email metrics or the service adoption and usage, IT organizations will likely just resend the email or escalate it versus evolving our overall approach. I mentioned this in a prior blog, but let’s explore some questions you should ask to increase our chances of being heard.
- Have you surveyed users about their preferred way to receive IT news? Even better, can they opt in or out of receiving communications?
- Besides email, what vehicles can you use to communicate with your users? Are there internal communities or social media outlets you can leverage?
- Do you target your emails to users or organizations that are most impacted or likely to use the service? This goes beyond using a targeted distribution list and involves modifying communications to use terms and examples familiar to that audience or business unit.
- People are more apt to open a communications from someone they know. Can you work with business leaders or business unit communicators to share IT news that impacts their teams?
- In lieu of or addition to an email, are there other deliverables that would be helpful to a user, such as using videos, infographics and helpful hints? They may not read the entire email, but they may watch a short video or scan a checklist.
Email may be the most convenient option for you, but we all receive too many emails. And, frankly, we consume information from many other places today. While it will involve more planning and will take time to take root with users, it’s worth exploring other vehicles to get the word out.
What are you doing besides email?