I’ve been the communication officer for a technology organization for about 7 1/2 years and by far, my favorite expression related to announcements about changes to campus technology services is “It’ll be a seamless transition and the end users won’t notice a change.”
The first time I heard this statement, I naively accepted it as fact. Then, for a couple of years, the phrase “yeah whatever” played inside my head when I heard it and then ignored it while preparing internal communiques. Now, when it’ll be seamless is uttered in a meeting/discussion about changes or upgrades to technology services, the recording inside my head is b*lls**t. Calmly, I use my outside voice to say “Have we tested this?”
In general, I find that writing out the details of a change to an IT service usually uncovers something we hadn’t planned. And, most of the time, we can fix that something before the communication goes out. When we talk through the details in advance of a change, sometimes we can include something as simple as you’ll need to restart your computer in our announcements to the campus.
Communicating about technology is not easy – I’ll be saying more about that in future posts.