For the record, I live in Ohio.

If you have followed the presidential race, you probably noticed our Midwestern state was a pretty popular place leading up to the election. Daily visits from candidates, a barrage of unsolicited phone calls, mail – LOTS of mail, and more mudslinging television commercials than you can imagine.

But that’s not even the beginning. We were home to some of the most-watched Senate and House races in the country. So, more mail, mudslinging… you get the idea.

This election reached my “bugging quotient.” What is a “bugging quotient” you ask? Bugging quotient” is a term I use to describe my threshold for communication. When you exceed it, I tune you out and you have lost me.  I am sure there are quite a few battleground state residents who feel the same way right now.

I can’t say I coined this term, but throughout my career, my “bugging quotient,” has been exceeded many times. Usually it results in removing my name from a subscription list, hitting the delete button, un-following, etc.

There is a fine line between developing a plan that incorporates regular communication and “bugging” those who you want to pay attention to you.


Ideas to help keep your “bugging quotient” low

  • Speak to your consumers – not at them.
  • Keep it fresh.
  • Give your audience a little credit – and have a little fun.
  • Make it relevant and original, but don’t overdo it.


Speak to your consumers – not at them.

Think of how your target audience will receive what you are saying. It is not about you – it is about them. The messages that exceed the bugging quotient the fastest are those that don’t speak to the consumer.

Keep it fresh.

The definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If it worked 6 months ago, it doesn’t mean it will work now. If you notice a drop in readership or followers, change up the message or promotion so audiences don’t get bored and tune you out.

Give your audience a little credit – and have a little fun.

I am amazed (and maybe a little jaded because of the election) how many messages are “dumbed down.”  Give your audience credit that they know something and give them helpful information. But have fun with it. Good information doesn’t have to be boring and everyone needs a chuckle now and then. (The Allstate Mayhem commercials do this brilliantly.)

Make it relevant and original, but don’t overdo it.

People are always looking for relevant information. That is why top bloggers and journalists have such great followings. But too much of a good thing can be dangerous. So, keep the topics real for your audience and pace the messages appropriately. It is not a matter of who sends the most wins.


Today is election day and I am looking forward to a quieter phone, regular commercials and less recycling.I hope you voted and exercised your right as an American! I did and I am hitting the reset button on my “bugging quotient” meter, ready for the next annoying thing.