Ashley Smith-Hammond

In this piece we’ll look at the market leader Slack and highlight some of the other players in this space. 

tools for internal communication 

Messaging apps are good at bringing conversations together into one place and reducing internal email. They’re accessible to all team members so you don’t have to worry about adding on that annoying string of ‘for info’ CCs. If you find that these are clogging up your inbox consider another tool for internal communication.

You might want to shop around to find the right messaging app for your team. There are a range of platforms available, such as Glip and Hipchat but at here at Culture Republic we chose Slack. (If you’re shopping around there’s loads of advice out there to compare different products – here’s a recent list from Business.com.)

Slack

For small businesses the free version of Slack’s got what you need to get started. It uses channels, which let you organise your team conversations by theme. Whether you label each conversation based on projects, teams or specific issues, the application for cultural organisations juggling activities is clear. It adds a structure to your exchanges so it’s easier to find key bits of information. Plus, you can invite people from outside your organisation, which is handy if you work with freelancers and want flexible communications with them.

You can also direct message other team members and drag-and-drop files to share them, keeping everything in the same place. A powerful search function makes pinpointing documents, schedules and phrases easy. Finally, you can integrate many of the other platforms you use. For instance, at Culture Republic we integrate Twitter, Word Press and GitHub, though Slack offers hundreds more all in one place.

Our experience 

We’ve been using Slack for a while now and we’ve taken to it. It’s good for coordinating on details and we use it to talk within teams, keep track of our web development details and collaborate on article ideas. It streamlines our planning, helps focus creativity and really has reduced internal email.

Some of us use it more than others but Slack’s got an @ function that fires out alerts when users are name checked, so infrequent users are kept up to date with important conversations that concern them.

Main image credit: Slack by Giorgio_Minguzzi (CC BY-SA 2.0)