When you talk about going online, most people think that just means having a website, or a Facebook page. Because that’s what you see from the outside.
But communication is at the core of your organisation and always has been. It’s the club grapevine, the noticeboard, the books of rules and minutes, calendars, promoting and responding to events, and so on. Email has been added to that mix.
Some organisations have websites, others Facebook pages, Facebook groups and email newsletters and these mainly depend on an enthusiastic (and exhausted) volunteer.
During this course we’ll look at websites, Facebook, email newsletters and so on, but while you can implement them one step at a time, it is important to view them as parts of a much bigger and dynamic system, all assisting and reinforcing each other.
Here is a brief list that you could adapt to suit your organisation. We’ll deal with each one in seperate modules later on.
Website (Public face of the organisation. Can have a members only section)
Audiences: General public, members, potential members, potential clients, sponsors, etc
Purpose: Generate interest and facilitate bookings for venue hire, enquiries, events and other functions. Provide information for members and potential members.
Benefits: Cheap form of advertising, available to all. Workload can be distributed. Documents for members can be provided in a members password protected area.
Constraints: A few members may not have internet access. Requires ongoing commitment.
Audience: Public, members, sponsors. Note: although the Facebook page is public, only those who use Facebook are likely to see it.
Purpose: Increase profile of the club. Quick, easy way to publish news. Promotion of sponsors.
Benefits: Free. Links and mentions can be attractive to sponsors. Some people use Facebook as a search engine. Members can promote the club or events by sharing. Workload can be distributed.
Constraints: Less control. Not accessible to all internet users. Posts are ephemeral.
Email – Email Newsletters and bulletins to members
Audience: Members (can be printed for members without internet if required)
Purpose: Keeping members involved and up-to-date, calling for volunteers, advertising events, calling for players
Benefits: Immediate delivery to readers. Ability to send to segregated lists. Workload can be distributed.
Constraints: Keeping email address lists up to date. Some members don’t have access to email. Some members share email addresses.
Online Membership Database (Password protected)
Audience: Authorised Club officers
Purpose: Authorised Club officers can access club records and any time, and selected officers can update. Production of statistics and other reports.
Benefits: Elimination of duplicate lists which invariably differ. Authorised officers can access without having to go to one person to get information. Workload can be distributed. Eliminates the problem of keeping seperate email lists up to date (above).
Constraints: Relevant club officers need to be computer-literate, and pay attention to detail.
Which one you do first will depend on your club’s circumstances, what you have in place already, and your priorities.
Next: Why now?