Videos That Teach

Todd Rossnagel, Director of Communications for the Louisiana Annual Conference, led a discussion about the importance of social media in a crisis situation. He shared insights and tips, drawn from his own experience as a journalist and from the Conference’s history in recent and past storms and tragedies.

Dan Krause, UMCOM’s general secretary, brings a keynote address to the 2016 gathering of the United Methodist Association of Communicators in which he invited a collaborative partnership and shared some of his personal journey.


Let’s be honest: Most communicators love to learn about the newest gadgets on the market to help us do our jobs. Here are some that communicators just like you have shared with us. Do you have a cool tool to share? Don’t keep it to yourself! Share with us by sending info to Royya James at United Methodist Communications RJames@UMCOM.org.

Boomerang

  • WHAT IT DOES:  Helps you manage your email (for Gmail, Outlook, Exchange)
  • COST:  Free  or $4.00+ for a monthly subscription, depending on the features
  • RECOMMENDED BY:  Derek Lee, North Carolina Conference.Email. It is a necessary evil in our work. To help tackle my email, I use Boomerang for Gmail. One of the main features is the ability to archive a message until you need it – getting it out of your Inbox and sending it back like a boomerang. Get it?

My favorite feature is the ability to schedule messages to send later. So, if I’m working at midnight, but I don’t want people to know I am working late, I’ll schedule a message for early in the morning.

Another is Respondable. A meter at the bottom of my message lets me know how likely I am to get a response. Other features include Inbox Pause, read receipts and follow up reminders if someone doesn’t respond to your email. Check it out today and see if it can help you!

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Olloclip.com

  • WHAT IT DOES:  iPhone wide angle and telephoto lens
  • COST:  $69+ depending on lens set
  • RECOMMENDED BY:  Mark Doyal, Michigan Conference.

In our work, you never know when someone is going to ask you to take a quick photo or a moment occurs in front of you that you just have to capture.  iPhone cameras are great, but sometimes you need a little more. This lens set goes with me everywhere I go.  You just never  know when you are going to need a closer or wider look at what you are shooting.

It’s small enough to put in your pocket or attach to your keychain and it really offers an easy way to add a dynamic look to any image.  I pair it with a RetiCam  mount with a handle to shoot video.  For images and video on a budget, it’s hard to beat. The only downsides to Olloclip is that it only works only with iPhones and does not clip over a case.

Other than that, this is a favorite tool.

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Grammarly.com

  • WHAT IT DOES:  Online and app-based proofreading.
  • COST:  Free  basic version/$149 per year for the premium version
  • RECOMMENDED BY:  Skyler Nimmons, Indiana Conference.

Grammarly is an online proofreading tool that takes virtual editing to a whole new level.  Grammarly comes to the rescue any time you are without a human proofreader nearby and as a safety net for any written material.

When installed, it proofs every Word document, text or message you type on the fly (including this review).  I use it every day.