Blog: internal email newsletters facing bleak future?

Blog: internal email newsletters facing bleak future?

September 12, 2014

It’s astounding to read that 100 billion work-related emails ping around global offices every single day.

That’s an awful lot of discussion about new hairstyles, recent events in Made in Chelsea or debating the world’s most famous cat.

Joking aside, email is ingrained in our working lives – almost to the point of no return. But with such saturation, is email still effective for internal comms?

Research by Dr Tom Jackson, of the University of Loughborough, revealed it takes an average of 64 seconds to recover your thoughts after reading an email. For many of us, that’s a lot of disorientated time in the office.

With so much time seemingly wasted rummaging around in our inboxes, it is hardly a surprise that complaints over email are commonplace.

Having the target audience frustrated with the channel before they’ve even opened the content is perhaps not the ideal recipe for successful communication. Just a thought.

Indeed, it feels as if the unhappy rumblings about the use of email are becoming ever more prominent.

North American Daily Mail CEO Jon Steinberg felt suitably irked to pen this blog, lamenting the use of email as a conversation opener.

Whether you agree with Steinberg’s obvious frustrations or not, it’s quite clear that irritation with email is becoming more widespread than ever.

Despite the arrival of numerous apps designed to combat the email saturation issue, it’s obvious the issues with email and its use runs far deeper than that.

With such a high volume coming in, does email still have the required impact as a bona fide channel for internal communication?

And, if email is making people switch off, then the warning bells should surely be sounding over its suitability for employee communications.

With this in mind, it was interesting to read Jenni Wheller’s excellent article challenging people to define internal communication.

Amongst the interesting and varied feedback, one particular description screamed out to me: “Guide and inspire others when it comes to the way people communicate – spark and sustain conversations.”

Such a description is fitting for today’s internal comms challenges – but does email still fit the bill with this in mind?