This chapter will help you understand which communication channels you should use for different types of communication. Today most organisations rely on email communication and perhaps a website where you publish news, that not that many people read. So how do you get your information into the readers hands?
Your online presence
You need to decide if you want to have a website and which social media channels you want to be active on. Please don’t create a social media account or website that you never update!
✅ Buy your domain name
If you want a website, or an email address with for example firstname.lastname@example.org then you need to go ahead and purchase your domain name. It’s easier than you think and doesn't cost very much. GoDaddy and Namecheap are quite good to use and user friendly.
When you buy your domain make sure to think about if you want to use their website and email services. Usually there are cheaper alternatives so make sure to only purchase the domain name and no extra services that cost money.
If you decide to set up a website there are numerous alternatives out there, but before you get it you need to decide what you really need.
For most organisations it’s enough to have a beautiful one-page website that describes your organisation, what you do, your sponsors and where to find you. And more importantly have an online registration/contact form for new customers or members.
If you decide to have a Facebook page and or Instagram account then make sure to register them and follow the guidelines from Facebook to make sure that it looks nice and is discoverable. Just google “how to set up my Facebook page” and you will find plenty of guides to help you.
How to build and launch your website
I would say that there are more ways to do that then there is time for us to write this handbook so we will just briefly go through a couple of options with their pros and cons.
Use a website builder such as Squarespace or Wix. They do a pretty good job at giving you a website but you might end up paying for more than you actually use, another good option is www.carrd.co.
The good old email
Did you know that the average person receives 126 emails, per day! Source: Radicati
So maybe that’s why people complain that they haven't received your email?
Emails can easily end up in the recipients spam box based on for example how the subject is formulated.
There are quite a few downsides to using email - but it’s still a cost effective way to to reach your customers or members!
Here are some quick tips to help you use email effectively
Make sure to use a common mail address that you can use to send and receive emails on. It could simply be email@example.com.
✅ Setup a specific email address for your organisation at gmail.com
The reason why we suggest using Gmail is that you get access to Google Docs, which is a free online collaboration tool.
It is possible to get help from people us (Slick.events) to help you forward emails from your own custom domain to a shared email box. For example reroute all emails sent to firstname.lastname@example.org -> email@example.com, and more importantly make it possible to respond to emails from your own domain.
If you are going to be sending a lot of emails, i.e. broadcasts to all your customers/members several times per month, and you have more than 100 contacts in your email list then we really encourage you to use an email newsletter tool. This is where you can design your email, manage opt-out settings (regulatory requirement), track your email open and bounce rates and much more.
I’m not going to recommend a specific tool here because they all have their pros and cons and most have a starter plan that starts at around $10 /mo.
🎉 Being productive in a remote work setting
Over the years there have been a surge of new ways to communicate with each other, there are WhatsApp groups, Facebook Messenger groups, Slack and Microsoft Teams and more.
We prefer to use a tool called Slack.
What is Slack you might wonder?
"Slack brings the team together, wherever you are
With all of your communication and tools in one place, remote teams will stay productive no matter where you’re working from.”
Slack has an extensive free plan and you can invite as many users as you like.
You should head over to Slack.com and read more about the tool before continuing reading this chapter because we are going to get into some details about how to use Slack effectively in your organisation.
Getting started with Slack
We assume that you have created a Slack Workspace already so now go ahead and create different channels that we think are a great starting point for any organisation.
Create a channel in Slack (click the + next to the title "channels") called #board and a description such as “For the people working on the board”.
Make sure to make it private!
The #board channel is where the board members can communicate with each other. Make sure to send a specific invitation to the rest of the board members in Slack so that they get access to the channel.
If you would like to discuss a topic “should we create a summer camp this year”, then the rest of the board can simply reply to that topic, add reactions such as thumbs up and thumbs down, share link to documents and much more.
Another good tip is to create a specific channel for different working groups you have, could be a channel for managing specific events, customer support or basically anything you can think of.
Another important channel to create is the #announcements. If you are a not for profit this is where all members of your association and parents should be added. If you are a business then add all employees here. This is where you can post organisation wide announcements about just about anything, see it as an alternative, more interactive channel to your email newsletter.
Set some rules and guidelines
In each channel you create you can add a description of how and what to post. A good tip is to encourage people to start a thread rather than a new message when responding to someone.
If you are a sports club the each team coach should probably create a channel for their team and invite players (or parents) to it. So that could look like #team-2, #team-2-parents