Insight

by Jenna Lally, 3.23.2020

Staying Connected During COVID-19: Navigating Internal Communications with Zoom

We are facing unforeseen challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic and staying connected with both internal and external audiences is now more important than ever. Being equipped with necessary tools in today’s environment is essential to keep your organization connected and informed during this time of uncertainty.  However long we’re quarantined, our team will release a series of resources that will benefit your organization during this time. The first tool we’re recommending is Zoom video conferencing.

Zoom is one of the many free tools our agency uses to host virtual meetings and even virtual workshops. If you have a laptop or computer with a webcam, this is a helpful tool to stay connected with your team. On the basic (free) plan, Zoom gives all users the ability to video call, share their screen for all to go over documents, and allows for easy collaboration – making you feel as if you’re all in the same room together even when you’re not! 

Here’s a quick snapshot of Zoom’s capabilities: 

  • Video conferencing – now more than ever it’s important to physically see your coworkers to feel connected while physically apart (it adds humanness to your calls!)
  • Screensharing 
  • Collaboration
  • Chat functionality
  • Audio conferencing
  • Participant lists

There are several other communications platforms to help organizations achieve this level of connectivity, like Uber Conferences, Skype, or WebEx. We’ve tried other platforms, but our agency prefers using Zoom because of its intuitive dashboard and the flexibility it offers. 

To get a better idea of what Zoom plan makes the most sense for you, we’ve outlined some pros and cons to the free plan.

Pros

  • Free of charge
  • Host up to 100 participants at once
  • Unlimited time for meeting with a host + one participant
  • Unlimited number of meetings
  • Fairly easy to switch between different mic/speaker inputs you have, they’re clearly labeled within the platform
  • Join by telephone call-in (without video)

Cons

  • Time limit of 40 minutes of group meetings over 3 participants
  • No ability for the host to manage the comments section, hide any comments from all participants
  • Need to download the app first to use Zoom and sign into meetings

If you’re looking for less restrictions the paid plan (Pro plan) starts with these capabilities: 

Pros

  • Receive all of the benefits in the free plan
  • Includes 100 participants
  • Meeting duration limit is 24 hours! 
  • User management tools, allowing owners and admins to manage users, assign roles, and include add-on features
  • Reporting capabilities to learn how many meetings are taking place in your organization, which days, number of participants, number of meeting minutes, etc. 
  • Custom personal meeting ID

Cons

  • Pricing for the Pro plan starts at $14.99 per month per host (and only up to 10 hosts, for business plans or enterprise plans, more hosts can be added), if you have several hosts, it could get quite expensive for smaller businesses

In addition, here’s some helpful tips to make Zoom an optimal experience for all:

  • To look best on screen, be sure to call in with a backdrop that’s well lit. You may need to adjust the webcam to see how you fit in the frame and fix any glares or backlighting issues you see. 
  • For best sound quality during your calls, mute your microphone and only turn on when you need to speak, this will minimize background noise and feedback. To limit background noise, it may be best to use headphones so if you’re in a crowded workplace, the computer audio doesn’t pick that up!
  • You can have fun with your backgrounds! Just because we’re working from home, doesn’t mean you can’t pretend you’re on a beach. To change your background, hover over the start video upward arrow, then click the option “choose a virtual background.” Now it looks like you’re in outer space or on a deserted island! 
  • Click the “record” button at the bottom of your screen to save the conversation for later to reference notes and talking points. 

While WHO and CDC recommend we practice social distancing, we like to think of this practice more as physical distancing – it’s now more important than ever before to continue to be social with each other and find tools to achieve this. We can still have face time and be efficient in a remote world while being physically distant.

Interested in learning how to set-up Zoom to better your connectivity? Download this helpful step-by-step guide on how to create an account, host a meeting, and schedule meetings all for free. If you’d like a free tutorial on how to use Zoom, get in touch with our team at hello@beyond-definition.com.

Download

Want more tips to help your business stay connected with audiences through your communications during COVID-19? Subscribe to our email list for more helpful tips and resources.

As COVID-19 pushes teams into remote, virtual workspaces, our “Staying Connected During COVID-19” series is here to help. Let’s commit to keeping ourselves, our families, and our communities safe, one step at a time. Follow us for tips on how we can further your mission together.

Jenna Lally's headshot

Jenna Lally

As Marketing Strategist, Jenna crafts customized digital marketing strategies and cross-channel content to connect with diverse audiences.

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