Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Governor Patrick's Email - Unsubscribe

Governor Patrick's Email, originally uploaded by stevegarfield.

I just unsubscribed to Governor Patrick's email list.

This is what the emails look like from him in my Apple Mail app.


OK, I get it you are the Governor, you have a seal, and an address, and a header with titles, and a release date, but for me to read all your emails I need to scroll each of them down to see any content.

No one else emails me like this.

It's not a letter.

It's an email.

Tell me what you want to tell me in line ONE.

Not 5 1/2" down the page.

Thank you.

BTW, you need to provide an UNSUBSCRIBE option at the bottom ot your emails.


  1. Anonymous10:09 AM

    You'd think in a high-tech state like Mass, someone in the governor's cadre would get it. It's not like email or newsletters are new. Kind of like how is littered by MS Word .doc files. People, .docs break the web. If it's important information, it should be HTML. Or at worse, PDFs.

    It's all embarrassing, really.

  2. Brad Blake10:25 AM

    Steve - I'm the Director of New Media for the Governor's Office. This is one of the many examples of 'traditional' media colliding with new media. I agree that the press release mailings should be sent with the most relevant information at the top and that the seal and traditional header information isn't needed. In the past, some people still wanted to print these for distribution and have them look like traditional press releases, but I think we've moved beyond that now. Most people are reading these on mobile devices at this point and that 'stuff' just gets in the way. We have press interns who send these out for our press folks and some new ones are starting with the new semester, so we'll work with them to update this. Meanwhile, we've removed you on the list. Please let us know (either by emailing me at or by replying to the account where the Press Releases come from) and let us know if you have any more trouble.

    Briandigital - You're right - everything should be in HTML or machine consumable format. Unfortunately, many people in government still view the web as almost solely a technology and don't yet work it into their communications and strategy. The web becomes a place to "put it up" when all else is said and done. So, if they've developed the final product in a word doc, that's what goes up. They often don't have the expertise or staff to do anything differently (as a side note, I see that you mention PDF's. They're typically worse than anything because they don't meet ADA compliance unless they're developed to be accessible and very few people know how to do that).

    We're working to change a lot of these issues and have made some good progress, but it takes time and we frankly don't have a ton of people working on it. The federal government is facing the exact same thing. If you're really interested in this, I strongly encourage you to check out the following two papers that folks on the Federal Web Managers Council just put out:

    1) White paper for the Presidential Transition Team, "Putting Citizens First - Transforming Online Government:

    2) Social Media and the Federal Government: Perceived and Real Barriers and Potential Solutions:

    They're both available in PDF from the sites I linked to, as well.

    Feedback like this is always welcome. Of course, the less "snarky", the better. :)

  3. Hi Brad,
    Thanks for takign the time to reply on this post. Glad to hear that you'll be changing the format of these emails...