by Ronald E. Milliman
The membership and public relations committees conducted a combined panel presentation during the 2012 ACB national conference and convention in Louisville this year. The membership committee's segment focused on using affiliate web sites to address the needs of members, including recruiting new members. The PR committee's segment focused on using affiliate web sites to market their mission, goals, activities, fundraisers, and other events to appeal to both members and non-members. The PR committee's panel participants were Gaylen Floy as the PR committee representative, Ann Chiappetta representing Guide Dog Users, Inc., Denny Huff representing the Missouri Council of the Blind, and Ron Milliman as the panel moderator. Each panelist discussed various ways their web sites were being used to effectively promote the mission and activities of their affiliates.
Earlier in the year, the PR committee posted a call for nominations for the Most Outstanding ACB Affiliate and Chapter Web Sites. Fifteen affiliate web sites were nominated. Each site was carefully evaluated using a 5-point, 10-item scale, e.g.:
- Links: Are there lots of useful links to other sites that will help its position on search engines like Google and that take people to other valuable resources, but without taking the user entirely off the site?
Very poor 1__, 2___, 3__, 4__, 5__ Excellent
Based on the results of this evaluation process, the PR committee presented the following certificates of recognition to several affiliates.
- The Most Outstanding ACB Affiliate Web Site 1st place certificate was presented to Guide Dog Users, Inc. (GDUI); 2nd place went to the Missouri Council of the Blind (MCB); and 3rd place went to the Blue Grass Council of the Blind (BGCB).
- The Most Accessible & Navigable ACB Affiliate Web Site was a three-way tie, with certificates going to GDUI, Missouri Council of the Blind, and the New Jersey Council of the Blind (NJCB).
- The Most Functional, Current, and Useful ACB Affiliate Web Sites belonged to GDUI and the Missouri Council of the Blind.
- The site recognized as the Best for Visually Appealing and Links was GDUI.
- The web sites deemed Most Appealing to Members and Non-Members were the Tennessee Council of the Blind (TCB) and GDUI.
The affiliates with the Best Public Relations Content were the Missouri Council of the Blind and GDUI.
Want to check the sites out for yourself? Their addresses are:
Guide Dog Users, Inc.: http://www.gdui.org
Missouri Council of the Blind: http://www.moblind.org
Blue Grass Council of the Blind: http://www.bgcounciloftheblind.org
New Jersey Council of the Blind: http://www.njcounciloftheblind.org
Tennessee Council of the Blind: http://www.acb.org/tennessee/
If you'd like a copy of the evaluation scale, contact me at (270) 782-9325 or via e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.