Sunday, September 30, 2007

Campaign e-mail etiquette

I'm a strong supporter of Barack Obama, but I'm dismayed to receive a campaign e-mail message in his name with the subject line "Hey." Even worse is the subject line on a follow-up e-mail bearing Michelle Obama's name: "RE: Hey." There are at least three good reasons to abandon "Hey":

1. A message with the subject line "Hey" is easily mistaken for spam. That the "Hey" purports to come from a well-known figure makes it look, to my eyes, even more like spam.

2. The too-casual "Hey" is likely to strike younger voters as lame.

3. The too-casual "Hey" is likely to strike older voters as saucy, pert, and less than presidential. (Do older people still complain about sauciness and pertness?)
I will add that I've met both Barack and Michelle Obama, and my sense is that neither would address a reader/voter in this way.

A better choice for a subject line might be "A message from Obama '08," "A message from Barack Obama," or "A message from Michelle Obama." Not very original: novelty in subject lines is not necessarily a good thing.

David Plouffe, if you're listening, please drop the "Hey."
Related posts

Campaign e-mails (again)
Obama e-mail improvement

Barack Obama on facts
Barack Obama on race
Ideology v. values
The kitchen shink

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