The Vanguard View: Insight for Association Websites

Vanguard Client Spotlight: Associations in the News

Posted by Ray van Hilst on Tue, Feb 05, 2013


Telemedicine Photo from iRobotWe love what we do at Vanguard Technology.  It’s not just building websites for any company, it’s building websites for associations.  ASAE has highlighted the great work that associations do through their Power of A campaign. But as an association industry partner, where do we fit in? As I tell team members when they start at our company… we don’t change the world. But our clients do.

I was reminded of this while catching up on my reading a few days ago and saw an article on GigaOM titled “Robodocs? Tricorders? How telemedicine will shape the future of health.”  The article points out:

“The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) estimates that 10 million Americans directly benefited from some sort of telemedicine service in the past year, with clinical applications, like those for radiology and emergency room services leading the pack.”

I thought this would be a good opportunity to show how Vanguard Technology clients are changing the world (and using their websites to do it).  Thank you to these fine organizations (and the rest of our clients) for letting us be a part of your mission and letting us design your website.

American Telemedicine Association

As GigaOm pointed out, telemedicine is delivering care to individuals who otherwise would not have access. Only four or five years there were almost no telemedicine services being delivered to consumers. But through the work of the ATA we now have “400,000 consumers [have] used an online service in the past year to receive remote health care.”

One of the most interesting sections of the site is the Telemedicine Case Studies. This is an opportunity for the organization to collect and promote the great work of their members. It’s an excellent example of how associations can leverage their websites to tell the amazing stories of their members.

Learn more about the work of this organization on their website.

The ESOP Association

The latest economic indicators show that the economy is turning around and more people are returning to work. However, during the depths of the recession there is one group of companies that not only held on to jobs but also saved the government millions of dollars.

Now, a recent study shows the important role that employee owned companies have in our economy.  A recent study by The ESOP Association and the National Center for Employee Ownership has saved the federal government more than $37 billion in 2010?  How, because they had a lower rate of layoffs than the rest of the economy.

To learn more, read this press release on the ESOP Association website.

This press release and corresponding study shows how an association’s website can serve as a centerpiece for the organization’s integrated communications efforts. The website is more than a publishing platform. It is a resource for use when speaking with reporters or policy officials that you can offer so they can go back and find more information.

Turning your website into a news machine

Both of these examples offer good lessons on how to tap into the power of your website to help generate news for your association.

Tell Great Stories – The first is a matter of collecting the stories that tell the mission of your association.  ATA does this with their case studies to show how telemedicine is changing lives.

Make it Accessible – When an association creates new research, the gut reaction is to make it available only to members. However, if you want to generate news with your content it needs to be available to the general public so that not only can search engines find it but also any potential reporters or other influencers.

Make it Easy to Share – Make sure you have social sharing buttons on your site as the ESOP Association site prominently features on the news page. Social sharing site AddThis reports that last year was the most socially active year ever on the internet. And with social sharing continuing to grow, your best opportunity to increase the digital footprint of your news is to enable easy social sharing on every piece of news.

For more tips on using your association website as a news machine, I’ll be speaking later this week with David Harrison of Harrison Communications.  We’ll be discussing ways associations can use their websites to power up their public relations efforts.  Be sure to come back and check out our interview video.


Topics: vanguard technology, association website design, associations

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