Nonprofit Digital Communications

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For those doing digital strategy work, including written or multimedia content for nonprofit websites, social media, and e-newsletters. This group is for those digital communications folks who create written or multimedia content for websites, social media, and e-newsletters for nonprofits. Members will discuss topics such as social media trends, digital analytics, developing content, storytelling, planning and resources, content strategy, and more.

Announcing a website redesign

  • 1.  Announcing a website redesign

    Posted Mar 07, 2018 12:35
    We're close to going live with a website redesign. Do any of you have examples of how you promoted redesigns? Right now my plans include a blog post and email highlighting the new features. I'm hoping to thread the needle on showing off the improved usability without it coming across as "Can you believe the garbage site we used to have?"
    Any tips?

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    Kara Potter
    Missouri State Teachers Association
    Columbia, MO
    Community Organizer, NTEN Digital Communications Group
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  • 2.  RE: Announcing a website redesign

    Posted Mar 07, 2018 12:48

    Hi Kara,

     

    First off, congratulations! A redesign is a big accomplishment, especially when you make great strides in usability.

     

    Do you have any partner organizations, local agencies, or chapters who can also announce the launch? That will provide additional visibility for you.

     

    We always recommend letting your community know that the site is under redesign. Did your members already know of the project? Did they participate in any surveys or interviews? If so, use your outreach to thank them. If not, at least say "we heard you". I'm sure they knew the site was in need of redesign.

     

    You may want a series of posts and/or emails. Include different features in each to build excitement leading up to the launch. If your blog is also on your website, it makes good searchable content rather than throwing all the new features into one big blob of text.

     

    Let your members know that you want their feedback when the site goes live. When they understand that the website is ever evolving, and that their input is important, you will earn their buy in and loyalty.

     

    Best of luck!

    Dori

    --

    Dori Kelner, MS | Managing Partner

    Sleight-of-Hand Studios LLC

    dmkelner@sohstudios.com | 703.758.7178 | http://www.sohstudios.com

    Get Relevant. Be relevant. Stay relevant.

    strategy - design - web - photography

     






  • 3.  RE: Announcing a website redesign

    Posted Mar 09, 2018 10:24
    Great suggestions Dori.

    I would like to add that at my former organization we did a webinar for the community and walked through the new features. It made sense because the site had a lot of features for different types of audiences. We also did one for our support group leaders across the country before we launched to give them a preview.

    We also asked for feedback, since a website redesign is never done. ;)

    Diane Greenhalgh
    Senior Communications Analyst
    National Resident Matching Program
    2121 K Street NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20037
    Phone: 202-499-5987 Email: media@nrmp.org





  • 4.  RE: Announcing a website redesign

    Posted Mar 08, 2018 20:25
    Hey, Kara! From following your forum posts, I know you've been working on this for a long time, so I'm thrilled to hear you're almost to launch day. How exciting! I hope you all throw a party in the office (seriously).

    Dori's got a bunch of great advice, so I won't repeat any of it. Everything you can do to make existing supporters feel listened to will help them stick with you through learning a new design and (probably?) navigation structure.

    You also might consider an invite-only prelaunch if you can make your beta/staging site public. This is a great goodie you can offer board members, donors, social media followers, newsletter subscribers, or some other group of your most important supporters. (It's also an awesome way to do a bit of last-minute real world QA.)

    I think if you focus on real improvements that will benefit your users, you don't have to worry about trashing (sticking with the garbage metaphor) your old site. People redesign their sites for all sorts of reasons. I really don't think that saying "check out this amazing new way you can access X" will make people think that hard about what used to be there. If they do, they'll be that much more excited about improvements :)

    While it was only partially about a new website, I loved the campaign Thousand Currents ran last year when they changed their name and entire brand. Over a bunch of emails, they dripped out puzzle pieces of their new logo and talked about their values and goals for the future. Dori's idea of feature some specific things reminded me of this, and maybe it's not to late to drip out a few things before the launch.

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    Mark Root-Wiley

    MRW Web Design / MRWweb.com / @MRWweb
    Thoughtful WordPress Website for Nonprofits & Mission-Driven Organizations
    Seattle, WA
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  • 5.  RE: Announcing a website redesign

    Posted Mar 10, 2018 15:05
    Edited by Emilio Arocho Mar 10, 2018 15:05
    One idea for a website relaunch project I was involved in was to have a "launch party." The idea is that the website relaunch is a great excuse to gather stakeholders in a room together in an informal, fun social context and remind them of your mission. Some in-person messaging about how the new website does a better job of serving your mission goes a long way to reinforcing relationships and creating ambassadors for your new site.

    Congrats on the redesign Kara!

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    Emilio Arocho
    Director, Technology and Digital Strategy
    Food and Drug Law Institute

    Community Organizer, NTEN Nonprofits and Data group.
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  • 6.  RE: Announcing a website redesign

    Posted Mar 19, 2018 17:16

    Hey Kara,

    I'd recommend sending out an email marketing campaign to your audience. MailChimp offers a 15% discount to nonprofits and charities. It's the same platform we use to announce new website redesigns to clients. We love it because of the drag and drop interface so rolling out new campaigns is pretty easy once you've got content in place.

    I hope that helps and looking forward to seeing your new site, as that's our speciality!



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    Chuck Spidell

    ILLUSIO | Design Magic for Nonprofits & Changemakers
    503-888-1892 | illusio.com
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