Friday, December 23, 2005

Damn the torpedoes

I never knew sending a Christmas card could be so stressful. Usually it's worrying who you may have missed. But this year it has been more the other way around.

As we are basically working full tilt right up to end of play tonight (though we are taking next week off) to hone the site for its 'New Year's E:volution' in January, we didn't really get around to much in the way of sending out the traditional greetings to all those we have met and been in touch with as part of's activities.

Sending out a bought card was not really 'us', and frankly hand-crafting re:used jobbies would have taken all year (and cost us money we don't have... plus the whole 'is it eco'-thing we thought it best to avoid), so we decided that the most appropriate way would be an 'e-card' mass mailing.

(If you are reading this and didn't get one, it's on the site... so Merry Xmas!)

We've had oodles ourselves, and many from the world of 'ENV/REC', so we thought it would be ok.

We also decided to create ours in-house. And in keeping with our style we thought that while it should be e-levant, a little humour would not go amiss for the time of year, despite the seriousness (check this out form today's Indy: We (the UK) are set to dispose of 3 million tonnes of waste this period of what 'we' (royally) are all trying to do.

But boy, did we get our knickers in a twist. First we worried what was dreamt up as an ironic take on the 'BIG' issue - global warming - may not seem so to those who couldn't see it for what it was and decide to get offended. In the end we figured that such folk would have a problem no matter what, and having tested it on a few, admittedly friendly, contacts across the industry, decided to plough on. will never cut through the mass of 'safe' stuff in this arena if it takes the 'please everyone' options. And in a separate blog I have either addressed (or if not, one day most certainly will) look at the tendency to ignore the happy majority and over-react to the lone, and often unreasonable complaints of an eternally unhappy minority in stalling or stopping a lot of well-meaning initiatives.

Having had cards which have tried to flog us stuff or bolt a rather clunky public service message into the festive greetings, we thought we'd just have a laugh, make a point and wish everyone a goodie.

I just hope that those who may not get on board with that sentiment simply hit the delete key or politely ask us to take them off our mailing list so they don't get bothered again. Which is another heart-thumper when you hit that 'send' button on the mailing programme.

Site sign-ups are pretty clear-cut. We have to presume they don't mind a little update, or in this case a festive 'e-llo.

But then there are those who we've met at events, corresponded with in some form or other and, in the case of many from the media world, been in touch with by proxy via our PR. All we legitmately believe to at least have a resonable interest in, and as this is the first mass mailing in a year we can't really be accused of overdoing the keeping in touch bit. Hopefully if they do not, the disclaimer and 'remove me' invitation will be adequate, though it's a shame to have to put that message at the end of a Christmas card.

There's also the small matter of duplicates, as it seems there may have been a few duplicates sneak in if more than one of us got a card from someone. We're trying to sort that out on the system now.

Anyway, what's done is done. Hopefully we'll see this harmless relationship effort be taken in the spirit of the season. So at worst it results in a thinner mailing list, and at best a few more folk from the last year get reminded of us and what we're trying to do.