Well meant email strategy became our nightmare

Posted: 12 September 2015 in Understanding Others
Tags: ,

email overload

Good intentions need not lead to good outcomes we found this week.  That was the case for us in the Labour Party leadership contest.  One member of our family, though their union membership had the opportunity to become a £3.00 supporter.  As a conscientious Christian, they were aware that they should support political processes and not be cynical.  So being a left-of-centre sort of person, they embraced this particular opportunity.

What a horror.  Blizzards of emails.  Unsubscribe seemed not to work.  Email requests to stop got bounced back as “Undeliverable”.  I suspect because the relevant server was underequipped to cope with the traffic.

And it was not just the Party they were in touch with, it was three contests: Leadership, Deputy Leadership, and London Mayor.

And it was not just three contests: if was with three sets of candidates.  We read the blurb and found it so anodyne too.  Blah, blah, blah.  You’d have to go to the paper to discern what the “coded messages” really meant, and the newspapers are not always reliable either. It was “Nightmare on Poll Street”, with sequels II and III on continuous loop.

Then the bombardment opened up a new front – in their pocket.  Text messages streamed from party hopefuls they’d never heard of.  Their trusty mobile, for family and friends, suddenly became the organ of bright-speak, the wishful cries of political classes desperate for engagement so much that their acts of desire slaughter it.

The outcome- “I don’t think I want to vote for them at all now” is the very opposite of intention.  Good intentions by all, overwhelmed by a comms frenzy, created alienation.  Labour, Conservatives, Lib-Dems – please please learn from this.

Bill

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