The family and I went on vacation last week and just before we left I had to go through the corporate exercise of setting an automatic “Out of office” message. Now, I could go for the obvious yet effective

I’ll be out between [start_date] and [end_date] with limited access to email. Please call my department at [phone] for any inquiries. Thanks!

Instead I went with -

Hi! ✨

I’m out of office returning Monday, April 1 (even though it’s April fools I’ll be here, promise) and will have limited access to email.

For urgent stuff, don’t hesitate to text me at xxx-xxx-xxxx or dial the marketing awesome solve-your-problems line at x1234.

While you are waiting my return, feel free to get to know me better and read about -

Why do I bring a notebook to meetings over a laptop

Prioritizing user problems

My personal mission statement

Have a great week!

Omer

My thought process around the more personalized, self promoting format for the out-of-office message was that I have an opportunity to deliver a message to internal members of my organization in an informal way.

My thought process around the more personalized, self promoting format for the out-of-office message was that I have an opportunity to deliver a message to internal members of my organization in an informal way.

Another benefit of those out of office messages that I didn’t think about was how deep into the organization those messages actually get (!) As a member of several cross functional teams (and as a result - email listings) every time someone from a distant team looped me in on a conversation, they got the message and got exposed to the ‘get to know me better’ part.

The results were awesome: One of the parts that’s important for me to be successful is laying broad communication lines that also run deep and cross-pollinate. While formal meetings and work email have their merits, there is great value is exposing informal, more personal aspects of communication to build that ever so vital social capital.

I got plenty of great feedback on the actual content from people in teams I don’t usually reach, which in turn gives me the opportunity to form additional connections. So OOO messages as personal marketing? I say it’s a thing.

Post cover image by Green Chameleon

#retro is all about my post-processed thoughts on product management and often triggered by work related events. Opinions are my own and does not represent my past or current employers.

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