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Hughes blog post: Email tales - being so ‘popular’ isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

16 April 2014    

Being new to the work force, there have been many aspects that have changed in my daily routine and in the way I approach things. Coming straight from university where I had half a year of holidays, to four weeks annual leave was certainly a shock to the system!

However, probably the biggest shift has been the amount of emails I have been receiving. My naive uni friends are under the impression that I am extremely popular and very professional. If only they knew that most of my emails are internal conversations or email newsletters – not particularly exciting!

This spike in popularity followed by the reality of having to open, read and delete all of these emails, caused me to research internal social media networking platforms that enable quick and easy communication – that don’t leave me with 600 conversation trails in my inbox.

Here at Hughes PR, we all work similar hours in the same office, which makes it relatively easy for us to communicate with each other. However for businesses where workers work on a shift roster around the clock, or who are working in different locations to one another, I can imagine the email “problem” is even more extreme.

There are many internal social media platforms available – such as Yammer, Chatter and Ning, all platforms that offer businesses an area where they can post ideas, start discussions and even host files without clogging up the inbox.

Keeping track of discussions in one place, posting questions or polls, and generally ensuring communication is seen by all staff are obvious benefits. However other features include creating groups for the different divisions of your organisations, tagging people to bring items to their specific attention, and accessing the network remotely or via an iPhone app.

In this day and age, customers expect timely responses to problems or queries. If your customer has an issue but you need to discuss it with multiple people, or discuss it with someone in a different location than you, then this is where these online platforms really shine. Instead of email – where you need to remember who you need to CC in every time, outline the issue and wait for a response – you can post a link on your internal social media network and receive push notifications on your phone when you get a response. Love it!

I know that signing up and learning about a new social media platform can be seen as an inconvenience and it can be hard to convince everyone to get on board, but didn’t everyone think that about Facebook until they signed up? Give it a go, I think you will be surprised at your company’s ability to reply to customer wants and your business’s own efficiency.

- Alli Evans