Global & Local, People & Culture

Spam from corporate communications?

…… Part of The Basics series. First published in March 2008 ……


One of the speakers at an intranet conference told us that a group of users in his company had complained to him about the spam they got on their company emails. He asked them what kind of spam it was so that he could try to adjust the filters, and they said it’s from Corporate Communications.

This is the second firsthand anecdote I have heard recently where intranet users have complained about “spam from corporate communications”. In the first case, a few months ago, it was an IT person who told me that the number of “deleted without being read emails” from corporate communications to employees was in the high 80-90%. A figure like this should make people stop and think about what their “all” email policies are.

It should also make us all think about how blogs with RSS feeds can ease this situation for users. People can then subscribe to what interests them. Of course, then the problem is that maybe people won’t subscribe to the feeds from corporate…!

That then raises a more fundamental issue of what type of news really does interest everyone in an organisation?

In most cases, at least in large global companies, there is very little news that really speaks to “all employees”. Which of course brings us around to how to customise, and what is the right balance between mandatory and optional news items on a portal page.

What is common and who decides….two basic open questions for many companies.

These questions are subject to much debate – sometimes quite emotional, and touch on organisational politics, fundamental beliefs about the nature of human beings, and even philosophical views on the value of individual freedom versus what is good for the larger group.