Over the past few weeks, I’ve received a few e-mails about the “contact us” and the “event submission” forms that appear on all of the Newstalk websites. Who gets those submissions, I am asked.
I know that sometimes the e-mail addresses associated with these forms fall through the cracks when staff members leave or employees transition from one position to another so one idea that’s been favored for these forms by our lead developer (he inspired me to write this) are generic e-mail addresses.
That brings us to John’s Monday Tip of the Week.
Note: Generic e-mail addresses can help prevent the situation showcased in the photo above.
Generic e-mail addresses be set up for each of our stations. In some cases, a generic e-mail address (i.e. email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org) can forward to specific staff accounts but in other cases, those e-mails can operate on their own as normal accounts that send and receive e-mails.
Here are three benefits that come with using generic e-mail accounts (after these, I’ll note how you can work to set them up).
1.) You aren’t likely to lose track of which addresses are associated with your forms. If you set up an e-mail account for the “contact us” form and an “events” one for the event submission form, you are more likely to remember who is receiving these forms.
That means, you won’t have to worry if a staffer leaves the company or changes positions. The information for these accounts will stay the same and you won’t have to change the address associated with the form. You’ll only have to give the new staffer the user name and password.
2.) Multiple people can have easy access to these accounts. Instead of one staffer always responding to these e-mails, you could have multiple employees with the user name and passwords of these generic accounts. That way, no e-mails are missed if someone is out for a few days.
Plus, if your station has an intern or two, you could always have the intern check out these accounts and let you know what important information is coming through.
3.) You won’t have to deal with spam in your main work accounts. I receive some contact us e-mails and I know that there are some people who e-mail us with some crazy ideas or useless information. Giving them your work account might be a recipe for disaster (they could keep e-mailing you or worse) so using a generic account allows for some distance between us and some of our critics or detractors.
These are just three of the benefits of setting up these accounts.
How to set up a generic account: In the past, when I’ve wanted to help a station set up a generic account, I’ve contacted IT specialist Randy Mason (Randall.Mason@salemmedia.com). Randy has been pretty awesome in setting up these accounts for us. You might have to answer a few questions for him but it’s a pretty simple task. If you want help setting up a generic account for your station, please feel free to send him an e-mail.
After that, let me know if you want to use those addresses for the contact us and event submission pages on your site. Trust me. It streamlines the process and makes it easier for your team, for our developers and for everyone if these contact us accounts are set up for the forms on a long-term basis.
This has been John’s Monday Tip of the Week.
Have a great week, y’all!
John P. Hanlon