We don’t talk anymore

Posted: 28th May 2010

Have been thinking a lot about communication this week, mainly about the best way to ensure the message reaches the maximum number of people – without them stretching for the delete key.

Like most businesses WiRE has a lot of information to pass out to its members about what WiRE is doing and offers or events. Ditto WiRE members need to share information around the network, to market their business and celebrate their successes – it’s the whole point of being in a network.  But at some point does all this communication become like snow; individual bits are quite interesting but after the first thrill all you want to do is dash indoors and shut it all out.

A more numerate colleague wondered if this could be translated into numbers. If 8 people in the WiRE office have 5 things to say to members a week and if only half the 2000 members have one thing to talk to the network about per month and ¼ of the 1000 partners have something to say. Then count the contacts just outside the immediate network (Twitter, Facebook etc) – we’re talking probably 2000 bits of information to communicate every month. With about 200 working hours a month we’re talking about being bombarded with possibly 10 bits of information an hour – just from WiRE. Now I know the human brain is capable of computing considerably more than that, but in business today, you are likely to be part of many different networks and organisations; lots of missives from lots of people.

At WiRE we have always tried not to bombard members and induce information overload. Rather than sending out hundreds of missives we merge all the information together and send one newsletter a month, urgent information goes via Twitter and Facebook and we update our news pages regularly (which can be RSS’d). We think we have got the mix about right, but still meet WiRE members who didn’t realise that “this or that” was happening – is it because we are using the wrong methods to tell people or is it getting lost in a communication white noise.

  • Do you like all the information being sent to you?
  • How do you prioritise what you “hear”?
  • Do different methods of communication imply different priorities (email more urgent perhaps)?
  • Have you “lost” information because there was simply too much?
  • How do you get away from it all?

Very interested in hearing your thoughts, it will help frame our communication with WiRE members – comment or email.

  1. The great Marketing Bogger Seth Godin asked trhe very same question 2 days later (are we on the ball or what?). Click here