Five tech treats to gift your publication

You might be fairly on top of your gift shopping by now, but have you thought about giving your newsroom a little treat? We’ve rustled up some of the most sought after delights, as well as some ‘basics’ (everyone actually needs socks for Christmas. If you’ve been thinking about updates or new systems, consider this your sign to take the plunge and treat your publication to a tech gift.

Communication Tools

What’s that under the tree? It’s a brand new inter-team communication system! Yes, that’s right – if you’re still wading through multiple email trails between staff, journalists, and volunteers, you might want to consider trying out a slick and shiny program like Slack, Rocket.Chat, or even Microsoft Teams. Many of these have substantial free plans, but for a little extra you can get premium features. Reach out to their sales teams and let them know the great work you’re doing – you might be able to score a free premium account!

Subscription Software

The amount of work you can save with a solid subscription system is, well, a gift. Imagine – Santa fills out a form on your website and pays online, his data goes straight to your CRM, his name is added to the appropriate mailing lists, and he’ll start receiving his subscription and EDMs without you having to lift a finger. Better yet, he’s sent a reminder email each year and can use saved payment details to renew the subscription automatically. Check out our article on subscription services to see a few options!

Design Training

Have you noticed that your design is a little all over the place? This can be a result of last minute work done by varying people. It’s time to crack the candy cane and get everyone on the same page! This little treat won’t even cost you anything if you’re a LINA member – we offer free Canva Pro licenses for members, as well as a range of templates to get you started. By setting up a brand template, you can make sure all your visual assets are looking premium and following key design principles to bring in new audiences. Take a little time and give yourself the gift of beautiful design!

Accounting Software

These are the socks we mentioned earlier. But really, who doesn’t need easy-to-use software to monitor your income and expenditure over the year?? It might seem cheaper to keep your bits and pieces on an Excel spreadsheet and hope the formula still works, but trust us – the peace of mind offered by a proper in-house accounting system is priceless. With new features like pulling invoices straight from your emails and matching them to payments from your bank account automatically, this stuff has gotten seriously good. Time to stop putting off the purchase – get in touch with a sales rep from Xero or MYOB and start bargaining for an introductory price!

Task Management

This is a little sock-y too, but some of these systems are very shiny and colourful. We all know how easy it is to have a great story lead then completely forget about it, or lose the contact details. Maybe you have no idea where a piece is up to, and your journalist isn’t answering their emails. Task management systems like Trello, ClickUp, Airtable etc. are a great tool for visual workers to have all their to-dos in one place. You can set up workflows for stories, recurring office admin task lists, meeting checklists and mindmaps, and stacks of other administration joys. Team members get a notification when they’ve been assigned something (and when it’s late). Again, lots of these have great free plans for small teams, so you don’t need to bust the baubles to get this happening.

Happy gifting! Oh, and if you haven’t already, why not give your newsroom the best gift of all – LINA membership!