Crisis communication

Right here, right now: 10 tools to communicate more effectively in a crisis

By 27th March 2020 No Comments

The global pandemic has forced many businesses to operate remotely, placing communication at the forefront of the battle. Without the right equipment, we can’t come together to solve the most pressing problems. In this article, Spoon’s Olle Lindholm explores the tools that help companies become more resilient in a crisis.

Communication is about bringing people together to pursue a shared goal. In recent weeks, the mission has been the same for everyone: to survive the global pandemic.

Millions of people are working from home as a result. Businesses have been forced to operate remotely, putting our communication to the test. The current situation reveals weaknesses in our systems, but the crisis also shows us what tools we need the most.

What’s been missing in your toolbox?

A word of caution

While tools offer great ways to connect, they also hijack our attention. The challenge is two-fold.

On one hand, ‘always on’ communication tools give teams the opportunity to talk and share feedback in real time. On the other hand, they risk overwhelming employees with information, tying people to the tool rather than letting them focus on their work.

It’s a fine balancing act, which should not be taken lightly. What’s important is to choose tools that support the kind of company culture you want to build.

Culture – more accurately described as ‘the way we do things around here’ – is the ultimate communication tool, because it teaches people how to behave. So, you want to have the right tools in place to foster learning and collaboration in your organisation.

With that being said, here is a list of tools for you to consider as you upgrade your toolbox (and your company culture) to become more resilient in the future.

Video conference tools: Social distance with ease

The demand for reliable video conferencing software skyrocketed after the coronavirus outbreak. If your team is looking for good solutions, try any of the options below.

Zoom is a web conferencing platform for high-definition audio and video communication. It offers crisp and clear communication with clients. The free version of Zoom allows you to have an unlimited number of meetings or one-on-one meetings of any time duration. If you’re three or more people in a meeting, the current time limit is set to 40 minutes.

Zoom’s group collaboration features encourage teamwork. Thanks to an intuitive interface, it’s easy to share your screen or display presentations and demonstrations. Try Zoom here.

Google Meet
A popular alternative to Zoom is Google Meet. If your company or your client’s organisation uses the G suite, then Google Meet is your best option. Learn more about Google Meet.

Visual communication tools: Bring your ideas to life

Have you got a creative workshop lined up? Or are you seeking to map out your next customer journey or maybe a new marketing funnel? These visual tools help to clarify your project.

Lucidchart allows you to draw diagrams and flowcharts. Its drag-and-drop interface is beginner-friendly and lets your team communicate complex ideas visually. If you need to design marketing funnels, customer journeys, or other critical business paths, then give Lucidchart a try.

Miro makes it easier for distributed teams to manage brainstorming sessions and hold creative workshops. You capture ideas and present them on a virtual whiteboard, allowing everyone to see the full picture.

To be sure, it doesn’t beat a well-executed live workshop, but it comes close second. Definitely worth a try. 

Scheduling tools: Skip the back and forth

What’s more time-consuming than setting up meetings? Show your available time slots and ask clients to book a time with you. It’s convenient and timesaving for everyone involved.

Acuity Scheduling
Acuity is a simple, user-friendly and high-powered scheduling tool. It offers integrations and features that make smart scheduling a breeze. The company has a free plan, with premium options also available. Learn more here.

Calendly helps you schedule meetings and appointments with clients, without the endless back and forth. Try the free plan, or any of their enterprise solutions. Learn more here.

Collaboration tools: Work your way forward, together

Setting up the right work environment is a must-have. These tools give you a birds-eye view of what needs to get done and communicated.

Slack’s software allows for quick and seamless collaboration. The tool brings the team together, wherever they are. With all of your communication and tools in one place, remote teams will stay productive no matter where you’re working from. Try Slack here.

Twist challenges tools like Slack. They argue that work suffers from ‘always on’ platforms in the long run. The alternative? Offer a simple and mindful experience, where you communicate around central topics and tasks instead.

If this philosophy resonates with you, give Twist a try.

Notion is an all-in-one workspace, with several tools rolled into one (think knowledge bases, project management and the like). Designers, developers and other technical folks tend to appreciate its powerful features.

A fair warning: the learning curve may be steep. But once you jumpstart your next project with any of the pre-made workflows, you might have just found your match. Who knows? Try Notion here.

Airtable is spreadsheet on steroids. It lets you filter information and display projects in a variety of different ways: Kanban board, calendar view, gallery or (for those who like to keep it simple) spreadsheet. You choose.

Trace your workload from idea approval through to production and distribution. To get started, use one of Airtable’s templates and customise the workspace to meet the needs of your specific project. Check out Airtable.

Together, we’ll get through this 

Communication plays a vital role in this global pandemic and its aftermath. Use these tools to communicate more effectively with your team and clients. Remember to listen twice as much as you speak; after all, you’ve got two ears and one mouth.

Now is the time to join forces and change the way we do things. So, bring people together (virtually, for now) and do your best work. Good luck. We all need it.