Recently a BrandTwist reader sent me this interesting article from Ad Age on how Texting Trumps Talking in the US.
Apparently people of all age groups love to text, but are opposed to receiving advertising messages this way. Texting is still seen as an intimate, friendly communication and getting impersonal messages from an advertiser seems like an improper use of this channel. I guess I buy that. It may be, as some in the article suggest, that the advertisers need to find a way to make the offer more of a dialogue and less of a “pushed” out message.
Nevertheless, it got me to thinking about all the choices we have to communicate these days and how confusing it can all be.
For example, let’s say I want to get in touch with a friend, not just to say hi, but if I actually need a response, like “are we still on for lunch tomorrow?”.
Do I email, call or text?
If I call, do I call their cell or their office number?
If I email is it to their personal or work email?
And what about direct messages on Twitter, Face Book or maybe even Linked In?
If we do manage to meet up, do I log into Four Square to help with my ranking?
I know all of these so called communication options are supposed to make it easier to communicate, but I actually find it’s getting more complicated.
I was recently supposed to meet up with a friend at the Union Square Coffee Shop for lunch. I arrived on time and waited for about ten minutes thinking she must have gotten caught up in a meeting. As ten minutes stretched into thirty minutes I started to get worried that there had been a mix up or mis-communication.
I checked my outlook calendar to make sure I had the right time and date. I then called her cell, emailed her (knowing she is a frequent Blackberry checker) and eventually called her office line. When she didn’t pick up I asked for her assistant and left a voice mail on the assistant’s machine asking her to check her bosses calendar and then call my mobile or email me with an update.
At one point I looked back at my Outlook and realized I had written Union Square Cafe in the invitation when I really meant to say Union Square Coffee Shop…thinking that might be the culprit, I ran across the street to see is she was waiting for me there. No luck.
And still no message back from my friend.
Anyway, to sum up a long, hungry, and exhausting hour of all this back and forth “communicating”, I finally heard from her. She called me a few hours later (on my cell phone).
Turns out she had sent me an email that morning cancelling due to an unmoveable conflict.
Unfortunately, the email which was sent to my work address which she’s used successfully hundreds of times- on this particular occasion got lost in cyber space and never came through.
The unexpected bonus was I got a very beautiful bouquet of flowers apologizing for the mix up (which really wasn’t her fault) delivered to my office later that afternoon. A somewhat old-world, but very touching, gesture on her part.
We’ve since rescheduled our lunch for a few weeks from now. I’m thinking of confirming this time around with smoke signals.
That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?
Do you find that more options makes it easier or harder to communicate?