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IABC Nixes Glitz on New Web Site:Function Over Fashion

By® Staff

Originally Posted

Keeping pace with the Public Relations Society of America, who debuted a new Web site earlier this year, the International Association of Business Communicators unveiled its new-look, advanced-function Web site at the IABC International Conference in June.

Appropriately for an organization emerging from financial troubles, IABC nixed glitz on the site, preferring a drab, straightforward appearance reminiscent of a fine funeral parlor.

But functional ... by golly, the sucker surely is functional and easy to navigate.

"We took the top five or six chronic membership complaints," says Chris Hall, chief technology officer, "and made dramatic improvements."

In addition to what IABC tries to position as "cleaner, more modern design," the site boasts substantially improved organization and navigation, including reorganized content areas and search capabilities on every page, along with a strong focus on member privacy.

IABC is particularly proud of an expanded Job Centre, "a huge member benefit," says President Julie Freeman, ABC, APR. The Job Centre will offer free job postings until Aug. 1, when portions will move to a members-only area and a fee will be charged to job posters.

Current and prospective members can now join, renew, and update member records on line in real time, using e-commerce technology. "We had our first new member join on line within hours of the site launch," says Freeman.

IABC's printed member directory, Worldbook, has been replaced by a re-engineered eWorldbook. This on-line directory lets members tap into the IABC member database and features expanded search capabilities, allowing member contact while preserving privacy.

"More important," Hall says, "we're not done. This is just Phase One of the new site roll-out; it will get even more refined in the coming months." He says future changes will include increased support for IABC Districts and Chapters and even more sophisticated member search capabilities, combined with further improvements in member privacy.

Now, about that look ...

Maybe when the Association is in the black again, it can spend a few bucks on design.

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