The trouble with email

Tomorrow's Business

The PR man calls with a simple enquiry. Just out of curiosity, he asks, how many emails have you received today? I check. There are 437. By 9am.

Hm, muses the flak. That’s a lot. I didn’t realise it was that bad. There’s no way you can read all those. So the only way I can get your attention, he continues, in fact the only reason you took this call, is because I’ve spent years building a relationship with you. That and being very useful, I say.

I think flaks don’t get how under the cosh most hacks are. It isn’t (just) to do with rudeness that we don’t reply to your email or voicemail, we just wouldn’t be able to function.

Quite a few hacks these days keep two phones and two email addresses running. One for people they know they want to talk to. One for everything else.

By the end of the day, that 437 will have doubled. I usually just delete the lot and start again. If you’re wondering why no one picked up your perfectly crafted press release, that’s partly why.

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