Technology and your PartnershipMaking the most of technology in your community business partnership can be one way of improving communication and promotion.
Being able to effectively use technological assets like email, the internet, and machines like faxes and computers, can mean your partnership:
- functions much better;
- can get its message out more easily; and
- can attract more people and media coverage to any partnership events it may be holding.
If the latter description is accurate for your business or community group, that's OK (although we would recommend the use of email or the internet for those who can afford it), the main thing is to ensure you support your partnership by making the most of the technology you have.
Tips on the Good Use of TechnologyThe following is a brief general guide to using technology to best benefit your partnership. More detailed information can be found in other help sheets at the Our Community website, while technical information and advice should be sought from those "in the know" – for example, computer technicians or support staff.
- Firstly, and most importantly - know how to use the technology you want to use.
- There is nothing worse than emails going to the wrong people, faxes ending up in the wrong hands, or important documents not being saved.
- If you aren't sure, or are not confident about how to use technology like emails or internet, don't use it until you get some good training. You never know - that sort of training could be turned into a component of a community business partnership!
- Once you know how to use them, use them well. That means:
- For emails – some basics:
- No spamming - that is, no sending of unsolicited or unwanted "junk e-mail" to a large number of recipients.
- Ensure your documents are well-laid out and easy to understand.
- Ensure any attachments are easily opened and are not so big that they will cause recipients' computers to crash. Avoid things like large size or large numbers of pictures, for example.
- Make sure you use people's names in emails where appropriate – particularly if approaching media contacts.
- If you need to, request replies or responses to emails to ensure they have reached their intended destination and your intended recipient has read them.
- Contact the contacts – know who your contacts are and use technology to keep in touch with them.
- Address faxes and emails properly – knowing the spelling of contacts' names and proper addresses is very important, particularly with emails.
- Keep it up to date - email lists and web addresses are only useful if they are kept up to date. Sending emails to wrong addresses or looking for non-existent websites wastes time.
- Like your list of names and contact numbers for friends, associates, workmates and media contacts, your email and website contacts need to be kept up to date.
- Combine your communication methods. Combine the existing ways you communicate in your partnership with your new ones. That means things like having your letterhead on faxes, letters, etc, carry your fax numbers, email addresses and websites if you have them.
- Also don't just rely on technology. Technology can be impersonal, particularly when dealing with issues within the group.