Why e-news is here to stay
Some bleeding-edge pundits are sounding the death knell of electronic newsletters, while more cautious souls are pointing out that newer media doesn’t delete not-so-new media, just as video didn’t kill the radio star.
Ironically, in her blog, Jennifer Evans delivered a spirited defense of electronic newsletters. Among her reasons was the ‘push’ factor, versus the ‘pull’ of blogs. In other words, electronic newsletters are pushed to specific in-boxes while blogs are pulled from the ethereal blogosphere.
In these busy, information-driven times, most people don’t have the time to pull, even with the help of RSS. While some blogs are gems, many are drivel or inconsistent in value. Who has time to sort the wheat from the chaff? And who hasn’t talked to blogging enthusiasts who spend way too much time on-line reading (which will no doubt lead to some sort of cancer), often material of questionable merit? Get a life — or at least a job.
My other concern would be the age of the decision makers in many organizations. Of course, if I were recommending a communication strategy for young users, I would insist on blogs and social media.
But most of my clients and their audiences are not early adopters. Mention wikis and other collaborative ways of working together electronically and they look a little uneasy. From their past experience, they know it’s wise to skip the flavour of the month and wait to see what really sticks, the extermination of bugs and lower prices.
On the other hand, they love e-mail, even though Web 2.0 may eventually erode some or maybe even much of that traffic.
Orchestrate the media
The big lesson from this debate is the need to understand how to effectively orchestrate the many media — old, new and yet to be imagined.
With so many choices, it’s more important than ever before to start with clear, consistent and universal key messages, backed by a branding position that ensures customers and other important groups know what they can expect from you. Then you can pour your communication into the different media containers and reshape them for specific audiences.
A fuller experience
While each container has its limitations, many can be overcome. For example, unlike the no-frills newsletters, we use images, to provide a visual cue that will help you remember us, impress you with our design talent and make this quick read more enjoyable.
In addition, we are building relationships with our readers, which is why I’m including my photo this time. Whether you’re communicating over the web or the phone, people like to know what the other person looks like.
What do you think?
One of the drawbacks of electronic newsletters is the inability to immediately post feedback, as you can with blogs. But that won’t stop us. We’ll post the best in future issues. Or click your opinion on blogs vs e-news on our question of the month.