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Ifeoluwapo Odedere: Sending Broadcasts For Dummies




Ever woke up in the morning to see one of them broadcasts on your phone? It usually goes like this: ‘’. As though you’re supposed to decode a puzzle or something and you’re thinking what on earth does this mean? And there are others like the Salt Water Broadcast that make you scream WTF!(whatever that means). My guess is if you’re reading this post, you’ve had this kind of encounter at least more than once. And my guess again is that a sizeable number of you have sent something similar to your BBM (or WhatsApp) contacts.

Not only is this an annoying waste of the reader’s time, it just doesn’t make sense. Broadcasts (BCs) were meant to be an amazing way of reaching simultaneously a large number of people with important or entertaining information; however they have been bastardized into the mobile version of email spam. Worse still the increasingly bad reputation of BBM Broadcasts ensures that over 50% of those who receive them never open them. The implication is that good and important messages may never get read.

To help restore sanity to the Broadcast Industry, I’ve come up with a few rules for those who can’t help but send a broadcast every day. These are rules I have adapted from my experience with email marketing to suit the purpose of this discussion. By following them dutifully, you may be able to get one more person to open your BCs or better still, reduce the number of people who delete you from their contacts.

Title your broadcasts:
Your broadcast is supposed to be an important piece of news; otherwise you wouldn’t be sending it to so many people. Unfortunately, we, the recipients of your BC aren’t just sitting by our phones waiting for your message to come in. This is why you need a title, preferably a catchy and appropriate one. Don’t start your BC with ‘Hello there…’ We have over a hundred contacts who are also saying hello!

Say hello:
Yeah, say hello. The fact that you shouldn’t start with hello doesn’t mean you shouldn’t greet your recipients. This applies mainly to bloggers and those who send personal broadcasts. Don’t just dump your latest blog title in our BBM chats as though we were blog-reading robots awaiting the command to read your blog. Show some respect man!

Date your news:
So they kidnapped your neighbor’s friend’s dog and you felt the need to show the ransoming power of technology by sending a broadcast. Good. But please, date your broadcast. How else will we know if we’re not reading a resurrected BC from last year? A simple ‘happened on July 13, 2015’ will go a long way.

Google is your friend:
It’s mind-bugling that people with smartphones in the 21st Century will rebroadcast false facts and figures, when a simple Google Search could have provided them with a wealth of actionable information. That’s why we still get BCs like Beware of using microwave. It causes cancer of the teeth.

State your source:
If you’re rebroadcasting someone, try to confirm from the person who sent it to you. Then go ahead and state the source of that information. Is it from the Ministry of Health or a visitor in your living room or an unconfirmed source? We need to know these things. It could save us countless hours of bathing in salt water. I believe if everyone did this, there would be less false broadcasts.

Use common sense:
So you’ve just read a BC that states that unless you pass the broadcast to another seven people, you will be dead in 7 days. Or another one which says send this to 21 people and you will receive your promotion. In return, you have decided to overwhelm our dying batteries with sentiments in the name of prayers. There’s a reason why you have a brain. Think.

Choose wisely
The fact that it is a broadcast does not mean that it must be sent to everyone on your contact list. If anything, you should narrow your ‘cast’. Sending a broadcast about Ramadan values to your Christian friends is just… oh well, fill in the gap. The bottom line is that depending on the content, some groups of people are more likely to welcome your BC than others. Your job is to target those people.

Give a preamble:
This is mainly for bloggers and those who ask us to complete their surveys. Investing three lines of text explaining what your post (or survey) is about will help us understand why we should click that link and interrupt our chat experience.

Give feedback:
We love to hear your feedback (lol). But seriously, after asking us to help re-BC your message about your neighbor’s lost dog, wouldn’t it be nice if we knew that the dog has been found? At least, we would be sparing a few more contacts the agony of reading yet another BC of a lost (but already found) dog. The same applies for those who ask us to vote for them and those who ask us to sign up for events. A little ‘Thank you’ (even if you came second) doesn’t hurt.

There you have them, the guide to sending sensible broadcasts. I have never sent one myself but I think this should make a good broadcast, so I’ll be sending one soon. That said, feel free to share this with your BC-loving friends and those who are new to BBM (and WhatsApp) chats. We can make the chat world a better place.

Photo Credit:

Ifeoluwapo is a Brand Strategist and the Author of Musings of an Analytical Mind. He loves to challenge conventional thinking and is a firm believer in the coexistence of aesthetics and quality. Connect with him - @ifeodedere


  1. Missappleberry

    July 15, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    I think i will add to the list. Don’t send at all! Is it a crime i added you as a friend on my bbm? I don’t even understand some people and this broadcast issues. Very annoying! At @iamthecelebritydr, take note!

    • Ifeoluwapo Odedere

      July 16, 2015 at 12:47 pm

      Lol. Share with him or her on Twitter 🙂 Let’s keep the message spreading

    • Dr Diya

      July 16, 2015 at 8:53 pm

      I wouldn’t find it offensive if you delete me from your list,i’d actually appreciate it… I’m sure the person that wrote this article ‘BC is for dummies’ has never read any of my lyfe tipz (BCs) And is definitely not referring to me… thousands of pple give me positive feedbacks on fb, twittter and bbm on how my BCS hv either helped them or saved their lives.
      My BC doesn’t fall into any of the above stated criteria cos I also hate annoying BCs. If u don’t like my BCs pls kindly delete me ( I won’t even notice). FYI my handle is @iamdcelebritydr…
      More than 15 pple already sent me this bella9ja link.
      I dunno who this missappleberry is i’d saved u the stress by removing u from my list

  2. Benbella

    July 15, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    My beef is with inconsiderate folk who spam your mailbox or timeline or Instagram comment box with unwanted information.

    That I graciously accepted your Facebook friend request, even though we had never exchanged anything other than polite pleasantries in real life, does not give you the right to inundate my inbox or profile wall with sales pitches, invitation to age-inappropriate raves/parties where the average age of the girls will make me look like that ex-governor from Zamfara, or your fellowship’s revival where your Pastor Nimrod has promised to bind demons and turn Sapele water into Fayrouz. Please do not also forward me doomsday Whatsapp messages where fire and brimstone is promised me and my generation within 7 days if I refuse to forward to 100 of my followers.

    And no, I am not interested in buying a Nyash-lifter, so do not put in my Instagram comments.

  3. mayreejean

    July 15, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    I don’t send broadcast messages at all. I think most broadcast messages are sent by unintelligent people. I mean, who dies or who lives cos a broadcast message is sent or not sent. I studied mass communication and I know that it is totally wrong to send people false news, I mean, it is misleading and daft educated illiterates actually believe in this broadcast messages.

  4. molarah

    July 15, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    This article is so true! As in! The BC culture has eroded our sense of online etiquette and even sometimes the sane, polite people find their way to indulge in it. This message needs to be told.

    • Ifeoluwapo Odedere

      July 16, 2015 at 12:48 pm

      Yesso. Please spread the word. This is one time you’re allowed to send a broadcast 🙂

  5. red

    July 16, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    heheheheehhehe.well, i do send BCs but they must make sense. i hate the ones that tell you if you dont reply of forward to a million people, calamity will befall you.
    awon ode

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