I love someecards.com. It’s a humor blog that creates electronic greeting card images for events like birthdays, holidays, and of course workplace scenarios. I often find images on their site to send to friends, family and colleagues to lighten the mood on an event or some random situation. They’re often sarcastic and sometimes crude, but many times just the right sentiment to get your message across.
One of my favorite cards is: “I survived another meeting that should have been an email,” which also pertains to voicemail as well. Don’t get me wrong, meetings and calls are so important and often necessary, but we’ve all been there: sitting in the meeting (or listening to a voicemail message) where the takeaway is something that could have EASILY been an email. It may be a generational thing, but different people do seem to have different opinions on how to communicate in the work place.
Here’s my short list of when to schedule a meeting (or leave a voicemail) vs. when to send an email. Take from it what you will.
Schedule a Meeting
Best appropriate for: New clients, partnership meetings, product launches or conference planning.
Why: You need face-to-face time to share info and cultivate relationships. I like the team feeling this creates and the brainstorming possibilities that often come out of these conversations. And sometimes there are snacks :)
Send an Email
Best appropriate for: Updating the team on a new company policy or change, final approvals or simple confirmations.
Why: As long as the reply is simply a “yes” or “approved” an email does the trick. We like this on the agency side since it provides a paper trail and allows us to track approvals which are necessary when multiple parties may be involved.
Make a phone call
Best appropriate for: Clearing up project status questions and situations too complex to explain over email.
Why: In the agency role, you should call your clients regularly to keep them on the same page. This obviously also helps strengthen relationships and helps ensure that everyone is in the loop. It also helps to know your client’s preferences. Some people prefer to talk things through – which is just fine!
Leave a Voicemail
Best appropriate for: Never. No one wants to hear your voicemail!
Why: I’m being a bit snarky here, but I think since texting and emails are the norm, voicemail is looked at as very old school. I can’t pinpoint exactly when voicemail became passé, but most people I know despise voicemail messages. If you don’t get through to someone, hang up and your number and or caller ID will appear as a missed call, then immediately text whoever you’re trying to reach with a brief message. Most people will admit this is preferred than retrieving and listening to a VM.
All that being said, don’t be afraid to call me and chat if you’d like. I am definitely OK with it… just don’t leave me a voicemail.