Prior: Rules to Calendar and Live By: The Last

The Church’s email network goes out under the Leader and Clerk Resources (LCR) tool. It allows leaders with access to send emails out to all members of the unit as well as groups of members.

Groups of members include categories like all adults, Primary leaders, Aaronic priesthood members, young single adults, etc. These pre-established groups allow leaders to target members that need particular emails.

There is email functionality built into the Church’s calendar system.

Email Capability in the Calendar System

You allow the Church to send you emails in two ways:
  1. When you enter your email under the “Privacy” setting on “Edit Individual Information” on the Ward Directory and Map.
  2. When you enter your email under the “Account Settings” on your “Church Account.”
The first method determines what email is used for the email that comes through the LCR from local leadership. This includes the calendar system.

The second method allows the Church to send you various emails from Church headquarters.

You can have separate emails in these two locations.

Under the calendar system, you can choose whether or not you allow the Church to send you email reminders for calendar events and which calendars you want to receive email reminders from. This is entirely under your control.

You do this by clicking on “Choose Calendars” in the top left-hand corner of the Calendar and making your choices.

However, there are current problems with this email system and it is affecting what emails you can receive.

The Current Problem

Enough people have apparently marked emails from the Church as SPAM often enough that some email providers are blocking the Church’s emails from reaching people. Right now, this includes Yahoo and AOL email addresses. Problems are appearing with Hotmail and others.

The Church is working to address the problem internally as well as with these email providers. However, the solution(s) are not entirely within its control because these companies are blocking email and have privately classified the Church as a Spammer.

Gmail is the biggest provider of email. So far, there don’t seem to be problems with it. However, problems could easily develop in the future.

What Can You Do?

So, what can you do, especially if you aren’t getting emails? You can enter an alternate email in the Church’s system and then configure it to automatically forward to your preferred email account. The mechanisms for doing this are specific to each email provider so I can’t give you any details, but it is actually pretty easy to do.

Try the following: Put this phrase in a search engine, “How do I automatically forward email from [insert your email provider like AOL]?” and it should bring up the instructions.

The other thing you can do is not mark the Church’s emails to you as SPAM and remove them from your spam/junk folder if they land there.

What Can Local Leaders Do?

The specific problems vary from locality to locality. Some units send out tons of emails, and some do not at all. Here are my ideas for addressing the problem in general: Manage the unit’s email system better. Don’t allow anybody and everybody to send out emails to members without establishing some basic ground rules.

What ground rules? I would suggest the following:

If something is an event, put it on the calendar instead of sending out an email.

One of the reasons we are where we are is that people are receiving emails that aren’t really relevant to them and are just cluttering up their inboxes. If you put it on the calendar, the responsibility is on them to access the information.

Obviously, putting it on the calendar is only going to work if it gets put there in a timely manner and has complete information for people to act on.

Doing this would drastically cut down on the number of emails people receive and help ensure that what they do receive is relevant to them. Besides, by being on the calendar, people DO have access to the information they need.

If you do send out an email, make sure the information is complete and targeted to groups who need it rather than sent out to everyone.

Leaders do need to send out emails but too often I’ve received cryptic and sketchy information that reads more like a text message on the fly rather than a sincere attempt to keep me informed. This is irritating.

Emails should be well-crafted and contain all the vital information: who, what, where, when, why, and how.

Emails that contain inaccuracies, or incomplete information will cause people to view the email system as unreliable and undependable. Care should be taken in what is done and how it is done. Mistakes have consequences. Take the time to do it right.

Be careful what email is sent out and how often

This suggests some centralized control and management. It’s a delicate balance but one that deserves our attention when we send out emails locally.

If emails are too frequent and lack vital information members need to participate, people may start ignoring them entirely. If too infrequent, members will view them as incomplete and unreliable. They need to know that they are going to get the information they need, consistently and reliably.

Time emails carefully so that the information isn’t sent out too early, which people might forget, or too late when they don’t have time to plan it into their personal schedules.

Notice how often the Church sends out emails. They do it enough without doing it too often. Take guidance from their example.

The BIG Point!

I hope all my inferences have underscored the major point I’ve been trying to make today: If events are entered properly on the proper calendars, people don’t need a bunch of emails from the Church.

Next: Part 19: The System All Hinges on the MRN!

Assignment for Leaders: Set up some sort of information policy for sending out emails. Also, try and put events on the calendar instead of sending out emails.

Assignment for Members: Make certain you are set up to receive emails from the Church in both ways.

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