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Creating a Winning SBE Chapter Website
Telling the story of an organization on the internet


by Mark Persons
SBE Signal Article
April 2022

You may have noticed that Twin Cities Chapter 17 website took top honors from the SBE in 2021 for Best Chapter Communication, which includes the chapter website. The truth is that web writing is not difficult. Anyone with a willingness and desire to learn can do it. It can even be fun.

I took on the volunteer job of writing sbe17.org after the chapterís 2019 summer picnic. It started out with basic HTML code, which was difficult to write. The site looked fine on desktops but did not display well on smartphones and tablets.

This got me to looking at Wix, Webflow, Godaddy and even Wordpress. I settled on weebly.com. There are better tools, but I thought they were more difficult to learn and use.

With Weebly, there is no software on the webmasterís computer. The writing is all cloud-based. Almost any non-technical person can make it work. Text boxes, photos, and other elements are drag-and-drop from a menu onto a page. That includes a search box, which is very convenient for web visitors. The Weebly theme I picked keeps menu choices at the top of the screen, regardless of how far a web visitor has scrolled down a page.

The Chapter 17 website has stories from past meetings for those who could not attend. Everyone loves a story. Think of the website as storytelling about the organization and what it does. Websites are information resources for members and the world.

One catch is that websites need to be updated frequently by a chapter member. It is a job just like chapter chairman and other chapter roles. A site with outdated information can be a black eye for an organization.

As an SBE mentor, Iíll be glad to help others wanting to do this for their chapter.         

Seven Easy Steps to Maintain Your Website:

1. Choose the right website builder. Success starts with the right foundation.

2. Update Regularly. Maintain the website so visitors know your chapter is up and running.

3. Give it a Makeover. Visitors will quickly exit if the site is outdated or poorly formatted.

4. Review your content. Donít publish without editing and reviewing a couple of times.

5. Optimize the Website for SEO. Search engine optimization will help deliver a consistent flow of traffic to your site.

6. Create a Sense of Community. Commenting systems increase traffic. Chapter leaders should participate in the commenting.

7. Use Social Media. Social media is a top traffic source for many websites.

If your chapter needs assistance with SBE logos or other media for the chapter website, contact SBE Member Communications Director Chriss Scherer, CPBE, CBNT.

Mark Persons, WōMH is an SBE Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer and is now retired after more than 60 years in radio broadcast engineering, including 44 years in business. He started by turning the dials of broadcast transmitters at age 11 and stays active by mentoring four radio broadcast engineers.  Mark is also a member of the National Radio Systems Committee. His website is www.mwpersons.com.


Also find the article at: https://sbe.org/wp-content/uploads/Signal202204.pdf


 


     Questions?  Email Mark Persons:  teki@mwpersons.com       

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