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Email & Social Media: The Untold Story

Email has had a good run as king of communicators. But its reign is over.  —The Wall Street Journal

This ominous passage appeared in The Wall Street Journal on October 12, 2009. The article entitled “Why Email No Longer Rules…” is the most notorious prophecy of email’s imminent demise.

However, The Journal was not the first, nor the last, to take up this position. A Google search for “email is dead” returns more than two-million results. Yet, years later, email continues to flourish and has retained its place as the top online activity in America, which begs the question:  why does the media think email is destined to fall at the feet of social media?

In part, the online buzz machine continues to pit these massive communication tools against one another to drive readership. Others interpret the mound of available research and conclude that the findings point to email’s looming extinction. But the truth is that email and social media are not at war. They are simply different media, each with unique strengths and weaknesses. And like all marketing media, they have proven more powerful when used together.

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