Improving the User Experience on

By Sara Cullin, APR

Clean. Easy. Organized.

Those were some of the words most frequently used to describe in our website survey, conducted earlier in 2018. And yet, the Job Bank, which accounts for more than 60 percent of the site’s total pageviews, is buried in the navigation.

Why does this matter? Launching a revamped website is one of our chapter’s objectives for 2018. It’s just one of the ways we will meet the strategic goal of developing robust, external communication efforts.

About that survey… The feedback wasn’t all positive. Some see the website as “clunky.” Others said it lacks personality, excitement or engagement. Positive or negative, all of these comments have been valuable to the research phase of our website project, led by the Cincinnati PRSA digital committee. I’m amazed--but appreciative--that 28 percent of our survey respondents are not active members. This will be particularly helpful as we rework the membership component of the site.

Our committee also analyzed six other websites, including Midwest PRSA chapters and Cincinnati-based marketing and PR groups. Finally, we took a close look at the site’s analytics and content management system. Our findings determined the overall scope of the project.

We aren’t overhauling the website, but you will notice significant changes that we are making through September: 

·     News and events combined into one section

·     Pictures of our people (“PR is about people,” as one survey respondent noted)

·     Streamlined membership information, designed for the unique journey of a prospective member

·     Refreshed and dynamic home page

I’m thankful to everyone who took time to share input during our survey, including our entire Cincinnati PRSA Leadership Team. I also want to give special thanks to our digital committee members Megan Heimbuch and Erin Rolfes, APR, who have lent their time and experience to this project. Our Chapter President, Darcy Schwass, APR, and Chapter Business Manager, Elliot Campbell, have also been extremely generous with their time.

I hope during your next visit to the site, you’ll find it’s cleaner. Easier. And even more organized.