4imprint, LLC

3 min read

On average, office workers receive 32 emails, 21 chat messages, 13 text messages and 12 phone calls daily. Is it any wonder people experience messaging fatigue? Will your message get a response or be ignored? Thankfully, with some sensible planning you can reduce fatigue while still ensuring your agency’s messages are not lost in the daily overflow of information.


Prioritize by importance

Structuring messages based on priority helps ensure the most critical messages get noticed while still getting general information in front of constituents.

Emergency notifications

The highest priority messages communicate true emergencies. These messages should be used sparingly and reserved for the most critical situations, so constituents don’t start tuning them out. Consider using wireless emergency alerts, which notify citizens by cell phone with a loud, attention-grabbing sound that’s impossible to miss. Phone calls are also a good way to alert citizens of emergencies.

Your constituents’ safety is top priority. Consider sending emergency preparedness giveaways to remind them of your dedication to their well-being. A Hand Squeeze Flashlight never needs batteries, so it’s a ready source of light at a moment’s notice. Teach your youngest citizens about how and when to call 9-1-1 with a Learn About Calling 9-1-1 Book.


Important messages

Time-sensitive information affecting citizens is important, but less critical than an emergency notification. Keep constituents informed by text, social media and website announcements.


General information

You can reserve lowest level messages for email and placement on the government website. This helps higher priority messages stand out to reduce messaging fatigue.


As an extra resource for helpful information, provide citizens with emergency preparedness giveaways featuring your contact information. A magnet or paperboard coaster with important municipal and emergency phone numbers displays contact information in citizens’ homes for easy access. Place important dates in citizens’ hands with a handy Peel-N-Stick Calendar.


Make every message count

If frequent or irrelevant messages become overwhelming for constituents, they may unsubscribe from notifications that could keep them safe in an emergency. A few guidelines can build trust and engage citizens.


  • Keep it short and simple: Remove unnecessary information and get straight to the point using simple language that’s easy to understand. Limit phone calls to about 30 seconds and keep written messages at approximately 30 words.
  • Make it relevant: A message is only useful if it reaches the right people in a way they understand it. If possible, send messages in multiple languages so everyone in your area knows what’s going on. Also consider who will be affected by your news and restrict the message to those citizens.
  • Make it actionable: Ask yourself if citizens will know what to do after receiving your message. Request clear action and justify the disruption.
  • Time it right: Avoid overloading constituents with messages by pacing your updates. Only send a message when there has been a substantial change in a situation. Limiting frequency helps reduce messaging fatigue.


Be open to feedback

Surveys or polls encourage constituents to tell you how they feel about messaging. Ask:

  • How relevant are your messages?
  • How can the content be better?
  • How can distribution be improved?

Be open to their thoughts and experiences to keep messages from being tuned out.

Our message to you

Messaging fatigue is real. Making mindful decisions can keep constituents engaged so they never miss out on what’s happening, and you can bring attention to issues that matter most.