Reply All

One of the outside companies that my firm works with sent a mass email (to many people at many companies) indicating first that they were having problems processing some data and then another mass email when the problem was resolved. This was a proper form of communication and much appreciated. What happened next, however, was not.

First, several people replied to the entire distribution list that, yes, the problem was fixed for them. Then, even more people responded (again to the entire distribution list) that they no longer needed to be on the distribution list and could they please be removed from the list. Finally, even more people responded (again to the entire distribution list) that they wanted the rest of the list of stop replying to everyone else on the list. In less than 3 hours, we all received in excess of 37 emails of which 2 were important to everyone.

Email is a powerful tool in effective communication. However, it requires the sender (and respondent) to utilize their brain. It is better to take a couple of minutes to determine who your recipient should be instead of annoying a vast majority by just selecting “Reply All.”

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