I don’t expect perfection from my team – but I do get annoyed when stuff gets sent out incorrectly in a broadcast. Especially if it happens more often than it should and could have been prevented.
I was just talking to a client of mine re: how to prevent mistakes in the work we are doing – ie: when sending a broadcast – and especially when we are moving at such a fast pace and getting stuff done quickly.
Like anything, the key is to have a system in place – in this case a pre-broadcast checklist. With a good checklist you don’t have to “guess” if something is correct, and it gives a simple process for you and/or your team so they are able to double check everything and hopefully prevent errors.
Here are the 3 things that you want to do before you send a broadcast:
- Check the Template (Branding) – all of us have a certain way that we want our broadcasts to look. Do we want text or html? Do we have banners to include or not? What kind of font do we like? What colors? Line breaks? There are all sorts of things that come into play, and it’s important that you (a) establish a brand template and then (b) make sure all broadcasts follow that template.
- Do a Date/Time/Title/Bridgeline/Link Check – when sending out information specific to a class or program, PLEASE make sure you double check these details. There is nothing worse than sending out a broadcast with something like the wrong bridgeline in it or a broken link… arg!
- Send Yourself a Test Message – it is ALWAYS a good idea to send yourself a test message, even when you’ve sent the same message a hundred times before. You need to see what the email will look like in your inbox so you can check the details from Step #2 again and especially make sure the links are working. Don’t get lazy on this – the 3 minutes you save by not doing it are not worth it imo.
See, one of the things I love most about working online is that all things are fixable – we can always send out a follow-up “ooops!” email if need be. But I prefer to set a standard that we don’t have to – if you are sending out an “oooops” email more than once every few months then something is broken. (Usually the system isn’t clear or the person is not following it.)
Let’s take a stand for accuracy! 🙂
Right on, Tina! A checklist is really important. I usually let it “simmer” for a few hours if possible and then, when I come back to it, I read it aloud to see how it sounds.
Great article and love Lara suggestion on taking a little break between the time you send yourself a test and look at it. I think a check list to a client is good too I did get from time to time a client who change there mind various time or send various email and then some mind changing were not done. So to make sure we have all the content is a must too. Thanks Tina for this great article. I do realize that I need a more clear check list.
Tina, sometimes I swear you are spying on me in my office 😉 You always seem to know what I need to read at just the right time.
maybe i *am* spying on you…. oooo ah ah ah 😉
I use this check list every time I produce a broadcast. In addition, remember to take a break between the time you send yourself a test message and the time you open it. When you have been looking at the same information over and over, your brain fills in and makes assumptions. If you completely walk away from your computer for just five minutes and then return and look at the test message you may be more apt to catch those inconsistencies.
Don’t multitask. I know we want to think we can maximize our time if we work on several things at once. However, in reality, multitasking leads to more mistakes/over sights. If you are preparing a broadcast, then focus only on the broadcast. If you do, I speculate you will notice it takes you a lot less time to complete it and you have less mistakes.
I hope this is helpful. I certainly appreciate all the knowledge we share.
love that Lara – take a quick break and don’t multitask
Wow, it’s like you have a bug in my office… I really wish I would have been reminded of this YESTERDAY (LOL), but thanks for the reminder nonetheless. Cheers!
i must have been reading your mind when I wrote this yesterday Ann