A strong communication strategy is vital to your chapter’s success. This spring, we discussed ideas for establishing chapter e-mails, social media, newsletters, bulletin boards, and flyers. However, one major form of communication was missing from that article: your Chapter Website or Blog!
Your website or blog is key to your chapter. It is the central hub for your communication platforms and a perfect means to pull together all of your various chapter’s needs and opportunities. Do you ever get questions from your members about how to join Psi Chi, who to contact about upcoming local events, or membership benefits? Answers to all of these questions would be useful information to have posted on your chapter website or blog.
1. How to Get Started
There are many ways to create a website. Your Psychology Department might be able to provide you with a section of your school’s official website that you can dedicate to Psi Chi. Or, you could create a simple and free blog-type website using platforms such as Blogger. That is A-Ok!
On the other hand, if you really want to go “all out,” you also have the option of building a state-of-the-art website using platforms such as Word Press, Wix, or Weebly. Just expect these to take a little more time, and be sure to write down any necessary procedures so that future officers can continue to access and update the website for years to come.
2. The All-Important JOIN Section
Your chapter website could be a single, simple page. Or it could have multiple pages, with a menu bar, social media apps, a rotating banner image, and so forth. Either way, first and foremost, you definitely want to share information on your website that provides members with basic instructions about joining and becoming involved in the organization. Be sure to make this page prominent on your homepage, and easy to find when visiting any other pages too.
Membership requirements do occasionally change from year to year. Therefore, we recommend that you simply link to the official Psi Chi webpage, http://www.psichi.org/?page=become_member instead of duplicating the entire requirements on your local chapter page. This ensure that your website always directs potential members to the latest information.
The same is true for Membership Benefits. New benefits arrive all the time (here are seven), so be sure to link to the official Psi Chi Membership Benefits webpage at http://www.psichi.org/?page=member_benefits
3. Upcoming Events
Let members and others in your community see what your chapter is up to. Share about upcoming meetings, community service projects, and opportunities to become an officer for your chapter. For all upcoming events, feature dates, times, rooms, and ways to request additional information. Also, you might ask your chapter secretary to submit the minutes for each meeting, so that you can highlight past events as well.
4. Contact Information
It is a good idea to list all current officers and their preferred contact information. Some chapter websites also include portraits and short biography statements for their officers. Here is an example of how Psi Chi’s Board of Directors and Central Office Staff are featured on the Psi Chi website. Perhaps you could do something similar on your chapter website.
5. Other Resources
To attract additional visitors to your website, consider compiling a list of helpful information about attending grad school, finding a career, and so forth. Psi Chi provides many resources on these topics: Careers in Psychology, Going to Graduate School, Conducting Research, Diversity Matters, Leadership, and Attending and Presenting at Conventions. You are encouraged to link to these resources on your chapter website.
You could also conduct short written or recorded interviews with local professors or students to publish on your website. Having a steady supply of fresh content on your website can go a long way toward showing others that your chapter has a healthy, active presence on your campus.
6. Integrating Social Media
You might be maintaining your chapter website, social media, and other platforms all by yourself. Or, maybe different officers are assigned to each communication platform. Either way, be sure to always share any information about your social media platforms on your website, and vice versa! After all, how else would a person visiting your website know where to follow you on social media? And how else would someone on social media know where to find the latest chapter contact information on your website?
You can never be completely sure which platform a person will use first. So, it is always a good idea to regularly and clearly show how all of your chapter’s unique platforms are connected and used to collectively support your chapter and its goals.
7. Plan for the Future
Do your chapter a huge favor! Write down any relevant information about your chapter website. Then, pass this information on to future generations of officers. For example, share any important chapter passwords, a list of information to be updated regularly, and any procedures for acquiring new information to be added to the website. Share brief instructions about how to make these updates, too!
Good luck launching or revitalizing your chapter website or blog. Have questions? Feel free to log in and ask away in the comments below. And of course, remember to log in and subscribe to this free publication!