I once blogged about the different types of voicemail message. But every voicemail message is essentially the same thing: a chunk of information conveyed in a way that might be convenient or fun for the person communicating that information, but substantially less convenient for the person receiving it. In that sense, they’re a lot like videocasts.
When I see that I’ve got a voicemail, my heart sinks. I will put off listening to a voicemail in a way I would never, ever do with a text message or an email. Because listening to it is a chore in a way that reading a text never is. And that’s because most voicemails fall into a few specific categories:
The Novelty Act
OMG isn’t it crazy that a machine is really recording my voice?! Can you hear me? Oh wow. I don’t know what to say, but um, this is great. Maybe I should sing you a song?
Funny how talking about security tends to make us feel less secure. Raising a security issue without causing unnecessary worry is difficult. You need empathy, tact and excellent communication skills. A bit of charm wouldn’t go amiss either.
I recently received an email from Travelodge demonstrating the total lack of any of these qualities. It’s an email which I thought was worth a detailed reply.
I recently wrote to my MP, who also happens to be the Prime Minister.
29th March 2011
Dear Mr Cameron,
I understand that you have recently sought the independent advice of the Committee on Climate Change and I congratulate you for doing so. I am now writing to urge you to accept the advice they give you and set serious targets for reducing the UK’s carbon emissions.