This morning, a tweet caught my eye.
— Megan Veronesi (@MeganVeronesi) April 9, 2018
Megan has received an Out Of Office email from Becky that’s taken her aback. “Today I am helping an organisation that creates brilliant health and social care services tell the world about the difference they make for people like you and me” she was told by Becky.
What a lovely, surprising and delightful message to receive! It strikes me immediately that Becky loves her job, is proud of doing what she is doing, and her workload is very varied – because this is only “today”. Note how it also connected directly to Megan through the words “you and me”.
This stopped and made me think. I’ve just been away from my desk. What did I tell people? So I clicked through to my own Out Of Office (or OOO) message – screengrab above and text below – and realised that it is so much more perfunctory than Becky’s:
Thank you for your email. I am on leave, with intermittent access to emails, and so will respond to your message as soon as I can after my return on 9 April.
It’s not exactly warm, is it? OK, so on this occasion I was on a family holiday in Somerset (which, by coincidence, wasn’t exactly warm either), but on other occasions, when I’ve been out doing really interesting work stuff, things that make me go “OOO!”, I’ve never thought to pop it into my Out Of Office message.
I do quite often post messages about what I’m doing on Twitter or LinkedIn, but it’s normally just a picture of me with my arms folded, standing in front of a screen. Hardly capturing the variety or piquing anybody’s curiosity!
— Richard Sved (@richardsved) March 20, 2018
ANNOUNCEMENT: I, Richard Sved, hereby resolve to express my love of my work in a wider variety of ways, and one of them will be by updating my Out Of Office message more interestingly.
Surprise and delight your supporters
But what lesson can charities take from this? Let’s do all we can to surprise and delight the people we communicate with. We need to go beyond the standard templates and messages, and really capture our love of what we do when we communicate. Let’s take their breath away.
Because our organisations are important. Their work is interesting. We love doing what we do (most of the time), don’t we?
Let’s tell people that in surprising ways, and get beyond the usual expected messages and images.
Let’s tell them things that make them go “OOO!”
Music to accompany this post simply because it inspired its title!