Using The Guild Website to Strengthen Your Band
The key audience for the website is members of our Guild. Historically, the Guild’s website has been a good source of up to date and accurate information about our Towers, Contacts, and District and Guild Events, and carefully integrated with Dove Online.
The new Guild website still delivers this objective, however it has the potential to do more than that because it has at its core a powerful and flexible news management system. It gives you the opportunity to post your tower’s news and events, photos and videos, invitations, achievements and plans. The website is suitable for…
1. Communicating with Ringers
Imagine if all the people who might potentially ring with you in your tower, had easy access to your tower notice board. What would they see? Reminders of important dates? The occasional cancellation? Recent peals and quarters? Blue lines for your current methods? Phone Number of the Tower Secretary?
You probably already use email or word of mouth to get this news out to your usual crowd, but by also emailing your news to email@example.com for inclusion on the website, you can reach any visitors who might be planning to ring with you, plus all the other towers in your District…
It’s a small effort to email news in, but might one extra skilled visitor at your practice night make a big difference? And don’t you worry about visitors who might turn up to an empty churchyard, when you cancel a practice?
2. Communicating with your Congregation
You probably have a poster on the main church notice board, and write about ringing sometimes for your Parish Magazine.
Many of the readers, especially younger ones, will automatically go online if they want to know more about you. If you have your own tower website, you probably quote a link to it in all your wider communications. If not, why not quote your tower’s address on wpbells.org? Your readers will find all your news, pictures (and perhaps videos) there, all the information they need to contact you, all of which informs them and enables them to form an accurate mental picture of “their” band. No more mental pictures of flying monks! Replace that fantasy with reality!
One church member who recently looked at a Tower’s wpbells.org page ended up spending an hour browsing through other pages on the site.
Your tower’s web address is very succinct.
3. Communicating with Potential Recruits
When you make the effort to find recruits, you want them to get a clear picture of bell ringing and what they might experience if they become a bell ringer at your tower. The elusive “young recruit” in particular, is probably a sophisticated user of websites, You tube and social networking. The website is designed to support recruitment in several ways:
- Easy to use from smartphones, tablets, laptops, computers & even smart televisions
- Easy to navigate (all 1300+ pages of it), with context aware menus , cross referencing and powerful searches
- Thoughtful use of colour, videos, photos, and logos to shake off our “boring” image
- Closely integrated with Facebook and Twitter
- Designed to be Search Engine Friendly
- A dedicated “Learn to Ring” section with reference to EVERY TOWER that we are aware is currently recruiting and/or training new ringers.
- A short address for your tower page that you can include in press releases and posters, plus:
- Extremely flexible design means you can have as many tower pages as you wish, enabling you to target a page particularly at non-ringers, and quote THAT page address on your printed literature and press releases.
One of our recent recruits came forward after seeing a website news item about a new Saturday class starting up.
4. Building Personal Ringing Skills
Sooner or later, most ambitious ringers need to spread their wings and ring away from home. Some bands are experiencing difficult times and unable to scaffold their learners beyond the basics, while others are regularly practicing advanced methods and able to help visitors to learn. To save you randomly visiting all your local practice nights to find what you need, the website gathers together practice night reports, invitations to Guild training courses, and information about residential courses. You can look at these by District or by method type – for example, visit the page wpbells.org/surprise-royal-ringing, or use the “Search” button and look for the method YOU are currently working on…. To join in the support of ambitious ringers, why not:
Post short news items about your recent successful practice, including what was rung. This will enable local ringers to find you! Don’t be put off if your ringing is basic – a recent survey in C&S District found that 50% of ringers say they are still working on basics (defined as up to “learning my second method”) and some of those are VERY keen to visit other towers!
If you have a “method of the month”, let people know in a news item. Good ideas are catching – nearby towers may start to learn it too!
When you enjoy visiting another tower, write a short news item about it.
Visit wpbells.org/Guild-calendar and you may be surprised by how many invitations are posted there at any one time.
Visit the website http://wpbells.org
Email your news to firstname.lastname@example.org