Corporate Spam: It Doesn’t have to be this way!

We all get tonnes of the stuff, filling up our inboxes and keeping us from the more interesting or important emails. Spam. Sometimes we do it to ourselves, allowing an online store we bought from once to keep sending us emails – just in case. These are the messages that the spam filter tends to allow through, but it’s avoidable spam. Thankfully, the helpful folks at Google block most of the unavoidable spam, from the likes of the folks who think I need a performance boost in bed, but they can’t do anything about the third kind: Corporate Spam. And nor, usually, can I.

Corporate Spam is the rubbish that our own colleagues send us. Well meaning, perhaps, but ultimately adverts for training courses, new products, and websites or just “news” in which we’re not particularly interested. Often sent to mailing lists to which people are automatically subscribed and from which they cannot unsubscribe. Of course all of these serve a necessary function, getting information out to the whole or sections of the organisation, but is email really the right way? Frankly, it’s very old-fashioned.

The right way to propagate information is via the web, and the right way to draw attention to all but the most important and urgent information is via something like RSS. RSS is a simple way to subscribe to – and unsubscribe from – news feeds of all kinds and hosted in all locations. A decent RSS reader will allow the user to view headlines and then click to read the full text. Blending information sources together helps ensure that the user actually has a reason to check in regularly – for the footie results, the news headlines, or that corporate stuff. Corporate news is no different from any other type of news, and with the tools we have available today there is no reason why we should treat it differently.

But won’t most people then miss those important announcements? Perhaps. Especially the ones who were deleting or auto-filtering those Corporate Spam emails.

Given the right tools – perhaps using smartphones as well as desktop apps and browser options, providing automated search options and popups with a certain amount of user control, appropriate tagging of information to help target it to the right readers, and attractive and highly usable interfaces – the information will flow.

Corporate information flow is fundamental to the health of an organisation, just as project information flow is fundamental to the health of a project. The problems are the same, and the solutions are the same. Every user needs effective tools to receive, store, catalogue and present information regardless of the source.

Email, folks, simply is not the answer.


About mikbarne
I'm a writer and freelance communications and collaboration consultant with nearly 20 years experience in UK telecommunications, specialising in VoIP, Unified Communications and Collaboration, and building effective communications architectures. Visit my Google+ Profile

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