The Thicket blog recently took a look at how state legislators are dealing with email volume. The writer explains some of the responses were encouraging, while some likely won’t be received too well by constituents.
Some of the legislators who have their own staff had maladroit messages like, "I won’t be able to respond to your message myself, but one of my staff will get back to you" or, perhaps worse, the automated message came from a staff person, not the legislator, in the first place. Staff may in fact be the ones who respond, but there are more graceful ways to explain this to constituents. Announcing in advance that staff will respond seems gratuitous at best and patronizing at worst.
While some have been negotiating the world of email, folks like Congressman John Culberson of Texas have been pioneering constituent relations by using Twitter — the latest and greatest way to communicate using "micro-blogging." Check out Culberson’s Twitter feed here.