Billboard Brain

Here’s another perspective on email overload, from EmailAtoZ consultant Jennifer Gordon:
“I’ve got a whopping case of Billboard Brain, one for the biz-health record books. How does this refreshing affliction affect my emailing?

I regard each email I send as a miniature billboard. I want to give my reader a break with a lot of white space. I’m learning to keep my emails fresh, thoughtful and simple.

Less really is more. In the billboard world, with your target audience driving at 65 mph, you have about 3 seconds to get people’s attention. People drive fast at work, too. They’ve got a lot to do. You will not grab their attention with voluminous prose and beefy attachments.

There is nothing cryptic about a billboard. Sarcasm, witty e-banter and carelessness all encrypt your message, i.e., bury it, along with your personal brand of excellence.

Before I address my email and hit the send button, I check it against my Billboard Brain criteria: What I would not put on a billboard, I should not put in an email.

A Billboard Brain understands the only purpose of email is to say, “Yes,” “Maybe,” or to exchange harmless information [Dirty Dozen Rule #1]. A Billboard Brain is crystal clear that email is an inappropriate means of communication for anything beyond this.

I consider it the ultimate email challenge to respond appropriately without excess and to break bad email habits by picking up the phone or meeting with the people in my biz life.

Billboard Brain is fun. It’s addictive. And it’s essential to creating a strong personal and company brand.”\
If you are interested in bringing email training (etiquette to management) to your company, contact Jennifer (

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