By Lynn Walsh, President, Walsh Communications, LLC
MoxieWorks is pleased to welcome guest blogger, Lynn Walsh. Lynn is president of Walsh Communications, located in Hinsdale, Illinois. Please enjoy this entertaining and informative post about using your phone and text messaging when communicating for business.
Has this ever happened to you?
Note some important differences between business and personal texting.
Believe it or not the rules differ with business and personal texting. Here are a few nuggets to remember when it comes to texting for business:
- Ask for permission before you begin texting someone you have never texted before. Avoid texting people who don’t text you. If you have never received a text message from someone, consider that they may not prefer to text.
- Don’t text somebody you know is driving. You do not want to be responsible for them getting in an accident. And, don’t text while you are driving!
- Double check if you are dictating – auto correct can drastically change your intended message! Proofread your message and be sure the proper person will be receiving your text.
- Avoid abbreviations and emoticons. These may not be clear and obvious to the reader. Business texting is no place for taking a risk with professionalism.
- If it takes more than 30 seconds to text, pick up the phone. Nobody wants to read a text essay. Anything complex that might require further explanation should be handled with an email or a phone call. However, a short text could be a good start to inquire as to when is the best time to talk.
- Keep business texting to office hours. If you have something to share with someone after business hours, consider using email. If you want people to respect your family and personal time, respect theirs. For major offenders, use the Do Not Disturb feature on your cell phone during the weekends and evenings. Do Not Disturb doesn’t block the messages, but mutes the notifications when you receive a message from that person.
- Don’t text during meetings. If you send or read texts during a meeting, your actions convey that the meeting and the person speaking are not important to you. How can you focus on the discussion if you are texting?
- Don’t send a text message if you can send an email. Every business professional I know checks his or her email at least twice a day. Consider the time management rationale: People don’t like being interrupted unless it’s urgent and they are more productive if they respond to all their messages during scheduled blocks of time. For some, it’s more efficient to type messages on a computer rather than on a phone.
- Don’t send bad news in a text. Bad news is best delivered in person, over the phone, or in writing via a more formal medium than a text message.
- Be wary of group texts. Group texts display the name or phone number of all recipients, and they all may not be interested in your reply. Take any lengthy follow-up conversation directly to the sender; the others on the thread will appreciate it!
- Don’t change meeting times or venues in a text. If you are running late, call and let them know an approximate time to expect you.
Keep these tips in mind and your communication by text message will be clear, concise, and targeted to the right audience. Plus, you’ll avoid embarrassing yourself!
Walsh Communications LLC is a full-service marketing, public relations and advertising agency based in Hinsdale, IL. The Walsh Team has produced countless award-winning and results-getting programs for clients large and small since 1987.