There is an old saying that “there is no such thing as bad publicity”, and perhaps years ago, when communication was more difficult than just clicking a mouse, there may have been some truth there. However, whilst today’s ever-developing technology allows us to put out a message to the entire world, it has also made customers much more wary that many of those messages are not worth reading.
An example of this occurred to me when I was looking for a job after finishing university. Having been told that recruitment agents were my surest path to employment, I signed up to about 5 or 6 different agents immediately after graduating. I set up identical email alerts for all of them, expressing a desire to work in PR or writing. One agent was particularly quick to respond, and within two days I had received 10 emails from them advertising hairdressing courses, mechanics’ apprenticeships and also several emails urging me to sign up for the site which I had just signed up for. After deleting the first weeks’ worth I felt forced to unsubscribe to the site and turn my attention to the others.
The frustrating thing is that particular recruiter may have worked just as hard, done as much research and made as many good references as all the others, but due to relying on quantity rather than quality and relevance, it had already undone all of that work.
If you send out information (whether it’s press releases, adverts or job suggestions) which is not interesting or directly relevant to your audience, then you risk tarnishing your reputation for when you actually have something important to say. The more information we are bombarded with, the more we are going to filter out the irrelevant ‘announcements’. Even in my case where I had asked for help, I had to cancel my request to save time.
If you can provide relevant and helpful information to the right people without wasting their time, then they will come back to you next time they need help. Make irrelevant announcements, however, and you are likely to be placed in the folder marked junk.