As life gets busier, I feel myself losing the firm grip I once had on connecting and communication.
For some time, I tried to force blame on the fact that there just aren’t enough hours in a single day. Yet, when my disgruntled family and friends failed to buy my self-absorbed bullshit, I soon realised that a full schedule is not something exclusive to my life and in fact, everyone is pretty busy. Which means there’s no excuse for that being the excuse. Ugh!
Yet when it comes to business and career relationships, there are a different set of communication rules for to be observed. Firstly, starting out in the fashion industry, the concept of being ‘connected’ is a curious and often misunderstood phenomenon. I used all those big words to say this, simply possessing an email address or phone number does not automatically make someone your ‘contact’ unfortunately. With the keyword being CONTACT. Ask yourself this, “How many times this year have I made an effort to reach out to the people in my database? How many responses am I receiving? When was the last time I sent a business update, a birthday card or a thank you note?
I was sat with my friend Olivia when our phones went off at the same time. Which is quite normal considering how many whatsapp groups, Instagram DM’s and email chains we share. We accidentally picked up each others phones, realising seconds later and swapping back. What we did also noticed was that we’d received the same exact ‘personal’ message from exact same person.
“Hey you! I hope you’re doing good. Just checking in to see how things are, let’s grab lunch soon!”
One of our mutual industry contacts had clearly selected a bunch of us and would blasted out the same message to all of us, with 2-3 week intervals. For a minute I felt kind of cheated on, whenever I’d received his “hey you” messages, I’d always believed that it was a nice little ‘thinking of you fashion friend’ moment. Only to realise that he’d been playing smart and a lot better at multi-tasking than most men get credit for – he was thinking of us all at the same damn time! Climbing out of my feelings and crawling back into my boss bitch chair, I had to clap for him and how canny he’d been by making the most out his time, contacts and iPhone!
With how much the fashion industry has put an emphasis on personalisation – from clothing, accessories, services and even newsletters, I’m really beginning to think otherwise. Is the true magic in feeding the masses? Personal touches are great, but do we really have time to make every someone feel like a someone special? The answer may still be yes, I’m just putting it out there and playing devils advocate (in Prada obviously). What do you think?
Remember last weeks story, where a very successful stylist credited her industry growth and back-to-back schedule to sitting down every single Saturday morning and blasting copy and paste emails to her ‘list’. Is this something we should take into 2017? Talk to me people…
Disclaimer: I have heard instances where the mega blast email has gone horribly wrong and resulted in two friends receiving an email about how they were ‘exclusively’ selected for a campaign. When in reality, a whole bunch of people were deemed exclusive and whoever responded first got the job. Oops!