My wife’s smartphone went into overdrive last night. Some poor schmuck had managed to send a trivial service request to mailing lists that meant that everyone in the 30,000+ company received a copy. Madness ensued of the thousands of “PLEASE DON’T REPLY TO ALL” replied to all type, interspersed with wry, witty or just downright daft interjections.
Putting aside the question of why everyone in an organisation should be able to send a mass email to everyone (an architectural and permissions issue if ever there was one), the simple response to this event is “why is everyone so stupid?”. Why do so many people seem to be unable to see that by commenting on the problem they are contributing to the problem?
But underlying this is something much more interesting. This unintentional SNAFU provided levels of virality and engagement of which most Internal Comms people could only dream. Is there something about stuff that is, quite frankly, mildly annoying that provokes amplification and engagement that trumps blandly constructed messaging that goes for much internal messaging? Should we be provoking engagement, not curating or cajoling it?