Most of the time, messages that we have to send privately to users are quite cut and dry. We're either explaining an action that we took, or describing an action that we'll need to take. Many of the issues that we address have been addressed hundreds, if not thousands of times before.
Once in a while, however, you run into something that should be addressed, but isn't something that many users have done before. Sometimes, it's helpful to bring in your fellow moderators or even a member of the community team to help craft a message.
I propose that we do the following:
Utilize our existing draft feature while creating moderator messages, but have the draft tied to the user for which the message is being created, visible only to moderators. Thus, moderator A could begin a message to a user, leaving the draft for moderator B to review and possibly send off, or edit and pass to the community team.
Implement a save-on-demand feature for drafts, so that one can be certain that they've left their draft in a state that is suitable for review by others. Additionally, it should be very clear that a message to a user is pending so drafts aren't accidentally discarded or not noticed by others unaware of the collaboration.
If a moderator goes to send a message to a user where there is a pending draft, they should be taken immediately to the draft at which point they can send it, or discard it. If they elect to discard it, take them back to the screen where they can click to select another message. Drafts should live however long they do for normal posts so that expectations can remain consistent.
A tiny caveat is a moderator creating a draft, letting it 'chill' for a day, then coming back to it to send it off. If the draft has been changed since the moderator saved it, a "Last modified by (person) at (time)" should appear above the editor, and the moderator should be prompted to confirm they know that the message has changed since they wrote it prior to sending. This avoids a moderator sending a message that has been revised without their knowledge.
Yes, we do have other ways to collaborate such as posting chunks of text in moderator only chat rooms; however this is extremely clunky, lacks formatting and isn't very practical. There's also Google documents which allow for more real time collaboration - which moderators should use if they need something more elaborate than utilizing simple drafts. At least for now.
This does a lot to help new moderators come on board, and lets the community team and more seasoned moderators better collaborate in some unusual, but not really infrequent odd moderation circumstances. Since we have most of what's needed, I'm hoping this will cost much less than what it yields.