5 essential tools and trends for communications pros

For internal and external communicators alike, the workweek is jammed with an array of challenges and responsibilities. Our peers in the field offer these insights and tech helpers.

We at Ragan Consulting Group love learning about emerging industry trends and the online instruments to stay on top of them—and, even more so, sharing them with our audience.

Here are the top five tools and trends RCG consultants heard about in our travels this year.

1. Robust editorial calendar: Gone are the days of simple Word documents or Excel spreadsheets for mapping out the week’s, month’s or year’s content. Communicators are using project management tools to plan content, assign writers and editors and get approvals. Here are four tools that communicators love:

    1. Monday.com
    2. Smartsheet
    3. Trello
    4. Basecamp

2. Digital asset management: The intranet no longer fits the need of tracking photos and videos. Communicators are using visual messaging more than ever, and it must be easily accessible and searchable for tight deadline productions. Here are some favorites:

    1. OpenAsset
    2. Cumulus
    3. Canto
    4. Flicker

3. Interactive live events: Goodbye “talking head” for 60 minutes at the quarterly town hall. Your employees just can’t remain engaged unless they are involved in the meeting. Here are some tools we’ve heard about on the road:

    1. Slido.com
    2. Kahoot
    3. Poll Everywhere
    4. Microsoft Stream

4. Taking time for yourself: You told us this year (more than in any prior year) that you want time for self-development. We think that’s great. Here is a small sample of the inspirational resources you’ve shared with us:

    1. Book: “Never Split the Difference
    2. Podcast: The Future of Work
    3. Newsletter: The Leadership Report
    4. Website: Gallup

5. Employee advocacy: With the rise of mobile apps, more and more of you are equipping your employees with easy, one-click ways to share organizational news with their followers. They are already on all the social media channels, so why not have them boost your brand reach while they’re tweeting and posting? Here are some tools:

    1. Dynamic Signal
    2. LinkedIn Elevate
    3. Social Chorus
    4. Staffbase

Ragan Consulting Group specializes in brand journalism and employee engagement, and its consultants offer training, coaching and consulting in internal communications, speechwriting, PR and marketing, social media, writing and editing, visual communications, crisis communications and other functions. 

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