Leadership

Lunchtime Links: Why CEOs Should Cut Back on Email

By / Sep 6, 2013 (iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

How cutting back on online communication can improve productivity. Also: a list of do’s and don’ts for social media at your next event.

Email has changed the way we conduct business. It’s also contributed to more than its fair share of communication breakdowns. How better email habits can contribute to improved productivity, and more, in today’s Lunchtime Links.

More substance: Before you read any further, do me a favor: Open your email inbox and look at how many messages you have waiting. I’ll go first: 13,726. That’s a lot of digital clutter. As Abigail Tracy writes for Inc.com, “The endless process of checking, composing and forwarding emails can eat away at an entire day’s work.” But don’t despair; a new case study suggests three ways your organization can cut down on unnecessary email traffic. And, as Tracy notes, the process “starts at the top.” The idea: If executives can reduce the number of emails they send, staff will spend less time reading and responding, and more time doing actual work. So what are the three steps? For starters, have more conversations. Don’t type something in an email that could be more clearly expressed in person. Second, “read emails in their entirety.” Skimming often results in—you guessed it—more emails. And third, “think before you send.” Responses such as “thanks” and “will do” say nothing and only add to clutter. What steps do you take to promote better communication in your organization?

Do’s and don’ts: Social media has proven a great way for associations and other nonprofit organizations to generate buzz ahead of and during events. But as Colleen Donnelly, community manager for event management service etouches writes on the Event Manager Blog, not every social media strategy is a winner. Organizers would be wise to establish a list of do’s and don’ts. Do spend some time identifying your audience, for instance. Don’t go overboard creating hashtags. Do be judicious in your selection of social media tools; create a mix that matches users’ needs. Don’t spend too much time promoting your own products and services. For more about how to use social media during your next event, read Donnelly’s full list.

Branding vs. content: There’s a healthy debate brewing in certain online news and content developer circles that could impact how your association projects itself online. Writing for Fast Company, software developer and consultant Jason Mark poses the question, “Should your heading 1 tag <h1> on the page be your logo or the first headlines on the page?” Confused? The debate is deep tech, to be sure. But the question is more relevant to your day-to-day operations than you probably realize. Essentially, Mark is asking whether organizations view their logo as the most essential and recognizable element on a page, or whether they prefer to focus on content, such as headlines. Many search engines use the <h1> tag as a prominent identifier when flagging content during online searches. Translation: Developers should save the tag for the most important and identifiable elements on the site. But leaders first have to decide what those elements are.

Are your users more likely to identify with your logo or your content? Let us know in the comments.

Corey Murray

Corey Murray is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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