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As you read this and the coming installments, please keep in mind these were written when Amazon, Facebook, Google, Tesla, Twitter, and Yahoo! did not yet exist.

“Get Connected” – Part 2

Written: November 1993

[email protected]. Odds are if someone knows where your company or organization is located, they can call Directory Assistance and find your telephone number. Most people have no clue how to find your e-mail address, however. If you want your organization to be accessible and easy to communicate with, then you need to create an e-mail equivalent of Directory Assistance.

Of course, an e-mail directory is more effective if every employee who has business contact with the outside world has their own individual Internet ID. Some organizations should also consider establishing distinct e-mail addresses for various departments, such as [email protected].

Establish a ‘Whois directory’. An easy to use, common directory with all employees and their functions can be made available on the Internet. One method of doing so is to establish a Whois server for your organization. For the technically oriented, the details of Whois can be found on the Internet in RFC954.1[i]

To gain maximum effectiveness from your e-mail directory, you need to make people aware it exists. Company advertising and marketing materials should advise your customers and prospects how to find your e-mail directory. The directory itself should also cross-reference appropriate phone numbers, as well as your home page on the World Wide Web. Much more about the use of home pages to follow.

By practicing “Get Connected” and using electronic communications more broadly, your organization can quickly receive feedback from customers, encourage collaboration among your employees, implement new ideas, and establish yourself as the easiest organization in the world to communicate with.

The key here is not the implementation. Technical people will figure out how to implement your e-mail system. The key is to accept the principle of opening up your organization and allowing outsiders to easily send you e-mail.

Will a flood of e-mail overburden your computer system? Some seasoned executives may resist the idea, with the justification they may get deluged with e-mails and not be able to respond. Will a flood of e-mail overburden your computer system? Additional staff may be required to handle incoming e-mail if certain executive ID’s are widely publicized. But be sure to ask yourself:

  • Is this a problem or an opportunity?
  • Is it a problem if people have a pent-up demand to communicate with your organization?
  • Is it a problem if a large number of people would like to send you feedback, questions, or even orders for your products and services?

The fundamental theory behind “Get Connected” is in the long run, you will generate new business, improve customer satisfaction, and increase your profits by making it easier to communicate with the outside world.

[i] “Nickname/Whois,” IETF Network Working Group, https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/html/rfc954.