Tuesday, March 17, 2020

A Rant About Coronavirus-Related Emails

You’ve no doubt received the emails. You know, like those from organizations with which you have an ongoing relationship. Or others, from organizations with which you might have had a single transaction. Or still others, from organizations whose names you might recognize. But you may not immediately understand why they’re emailing you (see image to the right). And, finally, there are emails from those mysterious organizations. They leave you scratching your head. You wonder: how did you even get on this email list in the first place?

These organizations have chosen to communicate with us about their management of the coronavirus. I have little doubt others will soon follow. 

I’ve found no value in any of this email. None of it has been relevant to my specific needs or interests. Absolutely none of it. 

As I think about this communication more granularly, I'm perplexed. For example, it’s baffling why organizations in the travel and hospitality industries would reach out at all. Aren’t we not supposed to travel very far, if at all, for some undetermined period of time? So the fact that they need to let us know about their proactive measures is at best ill-timed. At worst, it's inappropriate.

Yes, it’s admirable for organizations to feel a need communicate about a public health matter. That’s true even if the issue may or may not have ramifications for stakeholders other than their employees. But the fact remains that the current circumstances seem to dictate greater caution. Perhaps more care is needed than ever before in our lifetimes. Communication must always be timely, appropriate, and relevant—not to mention accurate. The current tsunami of information, innuendo, rumor, and fear mongering demands nothing less. 

So, my request to these organizations: be quiet. Leave us alone. Take care of your employees and their families. We don’t care what you’re doing now. It doesn’t matter to us. It’s not relevant to the challenges we face during a public health emergency. If and when it becomes so, we welcome your communication. 

No comments: