Sunday, January 07, 2007

A yummy link roll to showcase media hits

Over the last few months, there have been some excellent opinion pieces and news stories published on our issues (result of some pretty savvy media maneuvering by the field and DC folks), but we haven't been able to capitalize on the moment as well as I think we would've liked online. Our method has been to post the links on internal pages, add to the homepage, and/or include in our monthly newsletter.

Though this has worked, it's less than ideal as it potentially creates confusion online (link here, but why not there? What's the context?), false sense of expectations (users associate dates with dynamic content, think press releases, blog posts, etc.), and may even compromise the trust we work so hard to gain online (three pages in and I clicked on an external link that goes to an archived news story? Thanks).

This may be a stretch, but we just haven't had anything online to address the organizational need to link press hits with our campaigns. We, like all advocacy organizations, want to showcase our media efforts (which is greater validation of our work in public eyes) to our supporters, members, activists, and funders. At my previous job, generating media was huge to us and the work we did on behalf of public servants, so we created a press clips page for our audience to read the news story and then the press release that produced it (it just needs an RSS feed now).

Over the last six months, I've been trying to figuring out how we can do this through Convio, but every angle I took resulted in a pretty penny or two to customize the dynamic content pages (Storybuilder). And that just wasn't an option. In the end, we decided to stay with the status quo until we could address this during the redesign, but I think I have a temporary solution that may just work for us now as well as after the redesign:

I created a separate account for American Rivers and added three of the most recent press hits to our page which can then be pushed to our website through a link roll that will allow us to store, sort, and share our organizational news stories. Take a look down on the bottom of the blog bling to see the press hits and tags (the campaign that best connects us to the story). And it's subscribable!

It would be may even be cool to provide the rivers stories that we like and are relevant to our effort to protect rivers. And of course the blogs we like too, RiversandCreeks.

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