How To Improve Your Chamber Staff PageThursday, June 28, 2012
The Human Factor
As more and more organizations discover the benefits of being more personable (part of an effort to attract members, rather than trick them), staff pages have begun to expand in breadth and creativity. One of the most significant changes has been the increased use of the word “team” to describe – as a single collaborative group – an organization’s leadership, board members and staff.
(Note: For the duration of this post, I will refer to the leadership, board and staff pages of your chamber website as the “Meet the Team” pages.)
So, should your chamber website try this new personable approach to Meet the Team pages?
A HUMAN INDUSTRY
Smashing Magazine says: “[Meet the Team] pages are a valuable addition to any site where human contact is an important part of the industry.”
With that in mind, consider the primary reasons why people join your chamber:
1) To be active within the local business community.
2) To network with other local business owners.
Your prospective members are looking for meaningful human connections they can trust. Adding a little human touch to your chamber’s Meet the Team pages will reassure visitors that your chamber is a credible organization.
WHO ARE YOUR TEAM MEMBERS?
Are they your president and VP, your board of directors, or your office staff?
Answer: All of the above!
Because I am an avid fan of giving credit when it’s due, I suggest recognizing everyone who keeps your chamber vibrant and strong.
HUMANIZING YOUR "MEET THE TEAM" PAGES
Team pages are typically structured as extensions (or subpages) of your chamber’s About Us page. Common titles for these subpages are Leadership, Staff, Executives, and Board of Directors.
It’s up to you how much personal information you provide, but be sure to include the three most important features – individual photographs, bios, and contact information.
Embrace the opportunity to display your chamber’s personality. For the day of the photo shoot, encourage staff members to dress in business attire and smile for the camera – this look says, “We’re professional and friendly.”
Be consistent with format. Team member photographs should be all headshots, or all black and whites, or all candids. Whatever style you choose, apply it to each team member’s photo.
I love reading team member bios – especially if they are particularly inspiring or amusing.
For a president’s, or other executive’s bio, be sure to provide some career and education background. You should also write about specific achievements that benefited the business community. But don’t be afraid to include a few fun facts, like a favorite inspirational quote or an unexpected weekend hobby
If you decide to include extended bios for all board and staff members (something I encourage!), use a design element such as a dropdown caption or “read more/read less” option to avoid overwhelming your visitors.
3) Contact Info
One of the biggest reasons people visit your Team page is to get the contact information of a specific individual. Consider providing at least an email address, if not also a direct phone number, for each member of your chamber staff.
The Philadelphia Chamber’s Meet the Team pages are organized under the About Us tab. There are individual pages about the president, the board of directors and the executive team. The Philly Chamber team pages make great use of long-form bios and professional headshots, and the result is a clean, reader-friendly design.
In the end, it all comes down to one question:
Which organization would you be more willing to join – a faceless chamber devoid of personality, or one that embraces its human side and takes pride in showing off its people?
My money is on the human touch.
• What are your thoughts on the concept of a chamber “personality?”
• How do you express your chamber’s personality on your chamber website?
• What is your biggest challenge when creating Meet The Team pages?
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Send me an email or leave a comment below.