Today I received a really nice personalised email from Mike.
Mike is an important guy in LinkedIn (I’m guessing) and clearly he and his communications team felt it would be appropriate to reach out ‘personally’ to communicate some messages about some rather important news.
The problem is I don’t know Mike, I’ve never had correspondence from him and in truth he is attempting to communicate to an audience (me and God knows how many others) who are cynical and probably won’t connect with his message because we know it is a giant company who just don’t communicate like that to customers.
I totally get why the email was sent and all of the logic behind the “personal” touch BUT when you do this you must be tuned into your audience and what they are thinking so that your message will connect instead of having the opposite effect.
I’m not sure if you think like me about these things but I’ll try to share my thoughts (I’ll put these in brackets) to highlight what happens when you get the communication wrong..
Dear Greg, (do I know you?)
Today, Microsoft completed its acquisition of LinkedIn.
This is a major milestone for the technology industry and for our two companies (good for you!), and I wanted to reach out to you, (that’s lovely!) a valued customer of LinkedIn, (quite honestly I’ve never quite felt like that) to reaffirm our commitment to you and your business. (Yeah right..)
As we said in June, when Microsoft announced its intent to acquire LinkedIn, LinkedIn’s vision — to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce (what workshop came up with his one – are you taking the p#ss?) — is not changing (I can now sleep at night).
Additionally, LinkedIn will retain its distinct brand, culture and autonomy as a company (how long will this last?).
Finally, we remain committed to innovating with our partners to ensure LinkedIn’s products work with the tools and systems you use every day, from Applicant Tracking Systems, to Customer Relationship Management platforms, to Learning Management Systems, and more. (I’m breaking out the champagne!)
With the completion of this acquisition, you can continue to expect the great products and service to which you’re accustomed from LinkedIn. (if you say so yourself!)
You can find more details about today’s news here. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your account team or a representative here at LinkedIn. (Seeing as you emailed me Mike maybe I could email you directly? …nah, I know it doesn’t work like that)
We sincerely appreciate our partnership (hmmm- when did that happen?) with you and look forward to the successes we will share in the future. (this makes no sense whatsoever – even more champagne?)
Mike (from one first name to another)
Senior Vice President, Global Solutions (I bet you have a nice car!!)
I apologise for the sarcasm and maybe its just my mood today but was that email a whole pile of self serving me, me me rubbish?
You have to wonder if there is any point when communicating trying to pretend you have a relationship that you clearly don’t have and then smother this with cliche, marketing jargon that has been spat out of meaningless workshops where there wasn’t a genuine ‘customer’ in sight.
The purchase price was supposed to be in the region of $26 Billion – what happened with the communications plan?
Maybe just keep it easy? – issue a simple press release that says the sale has gone through
Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Strategic Communications, Marketing, PR, Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland