Wondering what communication tool is best for your needs? This pitch aims to light the way.

Graphic of a shark wearing eyeglasses and reading from notes
Title for Related Series
Related Stories


Inside the Shark Tank: Streamlining OIT Communications

Graphic of a shark wearing eyeglasses and reading from notes

At the April All-Staff meeting, OIT leadership challenged employees to propose solutions that target opportunities for improvement. In this series, we are sharing brief summaries of the resulting proposals, playfully dubbed “shark tank pitches,” that your colleagues presented to the Front Office, with updates on their progress.

To Slack or not to Slack? That is the question. Well, maybe Hamlet didn’t ask it, but Emily Hill knows a lot of folks at OIT are still trying to figure it out. 

A Management and Program Analyst in the Division of IT Investment and Technology, Hill and two of her colleagues want to provide OIT staff with a reference that explains which communication tools are best applied in different contexts. 

That’s why they are designing an informational one-pager that explains the differences between email, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom. Although all are communication tools, they offer different features, convey different levels of formality and are accompanied by different sets of expectations.

The one-pager, which is already in draft form, explains the advantages of each tool, where in OIT they are used, when they are most useful, and their limitations. Slack, for instance, is not an official system of record. Email might be less direct, but it’s still the go-to option for sending and receiving formal requests, signatures, or contracts.

Finally, the one-pager points staff to resources where they can learn more about the different communication tool options and level up their skills.

“The overall goal,” says Hill, “is to ease communication for staff and to make teamwork more efficient.” 

A draft document is off to the Front Office for review, but if you have questions or suggestions in the meantime, you may contact Emily Hill at

Team members: Emily Hill, Joseph Gaiser, Savannah Huttenberger

Title for Related Series
Related Stories

Recent Articles

Recent Media