Three short steps to email success

Everyone hates email. But year after year, even with the advance of social and collaborative platforms, we still rely on email more than any other channel for employee communications. But it’s a frustrating medium, to say the least.

Every day. We pour our hearts and souls into an important email note meant to elicit a response, hit "send," and…nothing. You would think we'd all be on board with reading and promptly responding to emails from our colleagues, but…somehow time, other priorities or just the overwhelming amount of email we receive each day gets in the way. It’s not surprising, given that direct marketing research shows only 20% of unsolicited emails that land in our inbox are opened. But somehow, we expect better when we are in the workplace, using the most effective internal communications channel available today.

How can you make sure that your important email gets read…AND gets a response? Here's a quick three step method to writing email messages that get replies. 

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The new 'three R's' for business communicators

To say that the organizational communications landscape is changing quickly would be an understatement. Just as communications professionals are wrapping their heads (or not) around social and collaborative communications tools, the rise of video-based messaging and communicating in the ‘there’s an app for that’ era, an entire new wave of technologies and ways of doing business are poised to completely reinvent business communications. 

We all know that messaging, audience targeting and measurement – PR and internal communications fundamentals that are our version of ‘reading, writing and arithmetic’ – are still the foundation of impactful communications campaigns. But how we apply them is rapidly evolving. To be effective – or even relevant – in this new era, communications professionals will need to embrace a new set of skills based upon what I’m calling the new “three R’s” for early twenty-first century communications: Reach, Robotics and Realities.

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Three conversations that enable strategic communications

Careers in business communications frequently start with the development of tactical communications skills, like writing, video production or social media. But tactical skills don’t deliver strategic business solutions. Senior communicators go on a longer journey to develop more skills, along with industry and business expertise. Eventually, many senior communicators become strategic generalists managing a team and/or advising leaders on best practices.

However, this journey is often derailed when communicators fail to have some crucial conversations with clients about what really makes business communications strategic. After many years working with, for and managing many communications professionals, here are the key conversations I've had (or at times, not had!) that enable truly impactful communications programs.

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The four trends communicators can’t afford to ignore

In 1994, I was just starting my career in training and development and was admonished by a conference speaker to “get wired or get fired.” Today I think we’ve reached the same crossroads in communications. Those who embrace both these trends and the technologies that drive them will flourish, while those who prefer to stick to established models are going to be left behind.

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