Wednesday, May 25, 2011

5 new tools on my short list, & and how they work for communicators

You know I'm a frequent sampler of new social sites, apps and services. I do that so I have the best tools to plug into my routines, share with clients and market my own services. Lately, it feels like I've come across several tools and features that could be particularly useful for communications directors and their teams. Check out these new options:

  1. FellowUp might be a useful contact and interaction manager for you or your communications operation. You can integrate services like Facebook, Gmail, your calendar, LinkedIn. Then you can get daily emails from FellowUp that prompt you by matching all those interactions. So if your calendar includes a meeting with a Facebook friend, or it's your contact's birthday, you'll be served links so you can write on their wall, send a message or make a note--without going back to Facebook or LinkedIn. And the notes option lets you record insights or special information about each contact that are accessible, helping you to make those interactions more meaningful. I'd start using this to track and followup with reporters, donors, members, partners, even work colleagues.
  2. Facebook page owners have a new tool to widen their audiences: RSS feeds are rolling out for pages. You'll find them in the left column, near the links to recommend your page or add to favorites. (Here's the RSS feed for The Eloquent Woman on Facebook, and I'm waiting for the feed for the don't get caught page on FB.) The feed will share status updates and links as well as blog posts you feed into the page as notes. And coming soon: Facebook's testing a feature that would let your fans recommend your page--on their walls and in their news feeds.
  3. I've told you about URL shortener, which not only lets you track traffic but lets you put a five-second billboard promoting anything you want, right before users move through to the link you're sharing. I've just scored an invite to test the site out, and welcome hearing from you with a cause you think I should use in my tests. It's got great potential whether you're branding a school, a business or a cause. And I'll be looking for you to click those links and try it out with me.
  4. If you watch Congress or national issues, YouTube's new Town Hall pairs members of Congress to debate issues in videos made just for the site, with each one explaining her point of view. Their parties aren't disclosed until you've voted on the viewpoint with which you agree, and a scoreboard keeps track of whose votes have "won the debate." It's great feedback on issues you're tracking, and can serve to amplify issues you are already behind--so think about sharing links on your sites to relevant debates as this new service evolves.
  5. I wish I were in on the beta for Zapaday, which pulls together a world calendar of events, from standing dates and anniversaries to scheduled events. To get them pulled together, it will take wiki-like submissions as well as scrape news sites. I'm thinking of it as a modern-day daybook, and hope I'm right. Keep your eye on this one--it will be a great way to get your events on a widely available calendar.
Clip to Evernote
Use the Evernote clip button, above, to save this post in an Evernote notebook. Subscribe to For Communications Directors, my free monthly newsletter, which features content before it appears here on the blog.

1 comment:

carmen2u said...

Thanks for this summary of new tools. I saw a friend use and wondered how I could use it. I love the YouTube Townhall and am glad you brought it to my attention. Great stuff here.