Invitingly inefficient

In a recent post, I referred to move away from the most efficient communication channels by the Council since the election.  I also alluded to an internal problem where more and more invitations to events/meetings are not being sent via the Calendar function on Microsoft Outlook. 

At the beginning of this month, Councillors received an invite – via email – for an event at Redlees Studio towards the end of the month.  I queried (not for the first time) the method and just kept my hopes that there would not be a repeat.  When I arrived home earlier today, imagine my frustration when I saw two copies of the same card inviting me to the same event.

Not only has 50p been wasted on postage but what rarely gets discussed is the true cost of this inefficient process e.g. people using their time to engage in paper based processes.  Has the same thing happened with all 60 Councillors?

This is unacceptable when times are good but even more so when times are tough.  I will ask John Laing to explain what went wrong here.

Using the calendar function is the best way to invite large numbers of people for the following reasons:

  • The invite only has to go out once;
  • The person who has sent out the invite can see at any time who has accepted or declined;
  • The recipient only needs to click accept for it to be placed in their diary/calendar
  • It is the quickest way;
  • It is the cheapest way.

The reasons why inviting a group of people by email is a bad idea are:

  • For every person who accepts, it requires them (i) to send an email to the organiser and (ii) to manually insert the event into a diary/calendar;
  • More manual effort is required at anytime for the organiser to state how many and whom have accepted;
  • This is very inefficient

The reason why inviting people through paper methods is wrong are the following:

  • All of the reasons why inviting people by email is wrong;
  • The cost of card/paper
  • The cost of mailing the card/paper
  • Other costs e.g. those associated with cutting, folding, sticking writing etc

Having to present such an argument feels 10 years out of date.  Inviting people in the most efficient way is a no brainer elsewhere.

Some people at the Council do not have access to Microsoft Outlook and the above arguments assume that everyone being invited to something (in this case, Councillors) do have access.

Most matters such as these, I try to keep in-house but even I have a limit on pointing out the obvious.

On a more positive note, I do encourage anyone interested in art to pop along.  More details here.

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