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The Union Leader

News & Notes for Our Valued Clients June 2018

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WEBSITE BEST PRACTICES - How often does someone in your union really think about your website? What's good, what's bad, how to make it better? Frequently, we get so busy just getting from this day to the next day that we don't take the time to pull back and take the long view.

As you might imagine, we read a lot about communication trends here at Unions-America. And, big disclaimer, there are lots of opinions out there, so they can't all be "right." But here's a list we ran across recently that has a lot of merit. It's a list of "Website Best Practices." This list is for websites in general, not union websites specifically, but it's a good checklist to measure your union's site against.

* Logo in the top left

* Contact in the top right

* Main navigation bar across the top

* Home page slide-show

* Value proposition high up on the home page

* Call-to-action high up on the home page

* Search feature in the header

* Sign-up box in the footer

* Social media icons in the header/footer

* Responsive design

Again, this is not the Bible. If your site navigates down the left side that's not "wrong." But the above is a list of 10 "standards" that communications experts currently deem the best way to do things, so it's worth a thought.


THREE MORE - Taking this a step further, based on our years of experience with union websites specifically, we could easily give you a long list of things we consider "best practices." But for now, we'll hold it to three - three things not mentioned above.

* Change something - anything! - at least weekly. Ideally, you'd have a new article or update on your website every day. In most cases, that's just not going to happen. Many webmasters are member-volunteers with full-time jobs. Some unions aren't that big and don't have that much going on. So if a daily change is out of the question, make at least one weekly change a goal. Fresh content on some regular basis brings people back.

* Avoid boring, generic headlines. Here's one common example and a way to make it better. Meeting minutes. Rather than just posting them under a headline like "May Meeting Minutes," find one item of interest in the minutes and play off of that. You don't have to be a trained investigative reporter. Something simple like "New Stewards Appointed at May Membership Meeting" may not be earth-shattering, but it's infinitely better than "May Meeting Minutes."

* Do something interactive. People like to talk back. Ask a question or do a poll. It doesn't have to be hardcore union stuff every time. Sure, you'll want to do bargaining surveys and such at the appropriate times. Or a question about what members think about new overtime rules or whatnot. But it's also OK to just do something fun. "What did you think of the new Star Wars movie?" "If you had to eat one genre of food exclusively for a full year, what would it be?" "How do we fix the Blazers?" (Insert your own local sports team that didn't win it all.) Getting people engaged and interacting with your site will pay long-term dividends.


WE CAN HELP! - Here's the good news: we can help improve your website in any number of ways. If you go through the first list above and want to make some design changes, or content updates, or don't know how to do an online poll - just holler! We're here to make your union's website the best communication tool it can possibly be. We are all in this together! 


CONTACT US - Our customer service center is always ready to assist you. We have professional support staff trained to get you answers and/or help you through an issue as quickly as possible. E-mail us at or call (888) 248-5557, Ext. 3.


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