I had another casework surge today from constituents. All by email. And all in the space of a few minutes. All the issues are different but I was reminded of when I first started to use email as a way of communicating with residents, back in 2000. The number of emails I had today was around what I would have got in the whole of the year. People then still used the traditional form of phone calls, letters or visits to the surgery.
Whilst people still use these to communicate with me, the number of emails I get has rocketted. It has been helped by our email newsletter eFocus. I first produced eFocus in 2003 when I had the email addresses of 50 constituents. We now have a 4 figure sum of emails. Each time I send out the email newsletter, I am communicating with 1000s, rather than 10s, of people. I also now produce video articles with links from eFocus. They are growing in popularity and as all this is still relatively new, I am learning what works and what doesn't. Now I have the problem of producing enough video material to ensure we have at least a couple of new videos on each eFocus.
But you can't get away from old technology for too long. I spent some time tonight phoning some of the helpers in my ward as the next focus is ready to be delivered (I printed it on Monday evening - a good bank holiday activity!) And of course, Focus remains the main form of communication with residents.
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