The summer months are some of the most challenging – but rewarding – as a manager. During this time, you’re tasked with juggling client workloads and the multiple out-of-office schedules of your team members. The ability to uphold client needs despite vacation time is critical.
While Labor Day and the end of summer are on the horizon, there’s still plenty of vacation time on the calendar and many of us in the PR industry are looking for ways to improve internal communication among team members to see us through the summer successfully. My colleague, Lori Niquette, recently covered strategies for Boosting Team Communication (Part 1) and in this post I’ll be sharing a two of my favorite tools for ensuring team and client success:
This tool is a team favorite thanks to the easy-to-use interface and the functions that allow multiple users to work on and edit any document together. On our team, Google Docs (and the G-Suite as a whole) have become lifelines for collaboration – especially during the summer when team members are often out of the office. For example, every Friday, my team and I create a document outlining the following week’s priorities. Once created, we all work simultaneously to populate the document with the pitch themes and overall client priorities we’re going to focus on. When team members come back to the office from being out on vacation, they are more easily be able to identify what was pitched and handled while they were out, and where they can prioritize their focus
In addition to Skype for Business, Slack and Yammer, another tool our team uses is a messaging and calling app called, Viber (who also happen to be a SHIFT #client!). The app’s group chat features allow us to add a number of users to a group – allowing us to continuously communicate and brainstorm on the go. Often times we’ll be watching or reading the news and a new pitch idea is sparked. Instead of opting for email or a post-it note that may be lost in the shuffle, our team will typically send a message to the group and sharing a quick message that we’ll want to chat about a new pitch theme when we’re back in the office.
Purposeful collaboration and seamless internal communication during the summer months is possible with the right tools. While Google Docs helps us to prioritize and plan out the upcoming week, and Viber helps us to keep connected with our team, you need to find the rights tools that work for you and your team.