How much is too much?
This week Kate Middleton’s mum hit the news for allegedly sending 71 emails a day to people – yikes. This was cited amongst other things as why people weren’t enjoying working for her company.
One of the first things I look at when I’ve stepped in as interim head of comms is the volume.
Even if the quality of content is high, when there’s too much it’s just a tsunami of noise.
The downsides of comms overload
It’s expensive. Like really expensive. Even using a crude calculation like how long it takes to read things (if you’re still with me we’re up to half a minute 😊), if you’re sending out 10 pages worth of content each week to 5,000 people that’s over 2,000 hours of reading. Put another way, you’re paying a whole year’s average wage to get people to read stuff. And that’s before you count in your bosses 71 emails…
The boring stuff will vanish. Even with the best comms pro and copywriter, some things are bone dry. If there’s too much to look at people will cherry-pick the good stuff.
It’s expensive. This time I mean to produce. Someone has written it / made it. Someone checked. Someone changed it. Etc. Then imagine no one paid attention...
You’ll lose trust. If there are tonnes of messages, then nothing is ‘louder’. To gain trust you need to show you know what’s important to your audience and make this the loudest. Some things must be ‘quieter’ to show the contrast.
It’s rude! Imagine not having the courtesy to carefully plan how you use your customer's time. Just expecting them to hang around and sort through what you have to say. By not planning carefully, you’re effectively saying that you can’t be bothered.
‘Getting it out’ is never the end game. In the rush to share news and information we can miss the point of communicating. It’s to make something happen. This takes up even more time (remember the calculation at the start) - so you need to factor in the 'action' time too.
So if you’re the leader who has an urgent message, that absolutely everyone needs to know right now, make sure you know how and when to send it so you get heard; calculate the cost and check you’re not just adding to the noise.
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