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Engaging Users.

A Labor Union Engages its Membership via the Web

MTC builds a new look and a membership portal for IATSE Local 481 New England, Studio Mechanics

May 30, 2013

A New Partnership.

Iatse LogoConnecting, organizing and mobilizing stakeholders with varying goals can be a challenge. But with a partnership between IASTE Local 481 and Massachusetts Technology Corporation, the right team was in place.

IATSE481 New England Studio Mechanics is a regional local of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. It includes members from Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont who work on TV commercials, movies and films with wide ranging fields such as such as gaffers, set construction, costume design and sound.

The local works hard to ensure members are employed, educated and active in the community, but their outdated website was holding them back. This is where MTC stepped in.

Lights, Camera, Action!

MTC worked with IATSE481’s leadership team to discover pains and challenges with their current web presence. We completely revamped and relaunched their web presence, both the marketing-oriented portion of the website (media, potential members), and on internal applications (membership, dues, production companies, etc.). 

Members Iatse

MTC provided the following services: 

  • Target & Role Analyses
  • Content Inventory
  • Wireframes
  • Mockups
  • Visual Assets
  • Creative
  • jQuery
  • CMS Integration
  • Launch
  • SEO Strategy & Integration

Varying Stakeholders.

Like most large projects, a key challenge was accommodating different stakeholders, including leadership, union membership and department heads. Conducting Target and Role Analyses let us understand each prospective site visitor’s goals and perspectives.

To keep members engaged, leadership wanted real-time and accessible information. They wanted to post and update applicable material to separate groups, without having to call MTC for each change. Lastly, they wanted content presented clearly and concisely. 

Members needed a platform to update their profiles, search upcoming training, and access resources/ documents easily. They also needed a space to communicate, network and find jobs and events. MTC created a separate, tailored platform for their specific needs. 

Other visitors varied (from media to government agencies to prospective members) so it was important to understand demographics and user goals to ensure information was organized, relevant and available.

A New Look.

IATSE481’s previous site was full of great content, but it lacked unity, accessibility and consistency, so we essentially started from scratch on a new identity and platform. A logical outline, reworking of wireframes, and improved navigation all helped create a cohesive, enjoyable experience.

IATSE was involved in each step of the process to ensure we were on the right track.

Emphasizing visuals and color, we were able to bring their skills to the forefront. We featured photographs from members of the union, as well as New England titles they’ve worked on—ranging from The Town to Ted—giving a sense of creativity, identity and convincing reason to become involved in the union.

Iatse Site

A Friendly Content Management System, Umbraco.Umbraco

For a site to stay fresh and compelling, it’s important for site editors to update content consistently and often. This is where Umbraco CMS comes into play.

Umbraco is a user-friendly content management system (CMS) which allows administrators the ability to easily upload and edit content. Specifically important to IATSE481, Umbraco allows them to:

  • Edit templates, text and images.
  • Add, edit and remove pages.
  • Upload resources.

MTC’s goal was to ensure that the site matched IATSE’s creative image and worked seamlessly, but that it would be dynamic and changing and that it would continue to match IATSE’s goals. Umbraco puts the power in IATSE481’s hands, so they can make their web presence work for them going forward. 

After the Launch.

So the site is developed and launched. Now, how did we make sure it gets the job done? How do we know where and when to improve?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a series of metrics and analytics that shows:

  • Who comes to your site?
  • How do they find it?
  • Are they new or returning visitors?
  • Where do they live?
  • What are they using to get there (computer, tablet, phone, etc.)?
  • How do they use it?—path of navigation, time spent on pages, etc.

 Google Analyt

Using that information, you can see which pages are visited, and make choices about the evolution of the site. Google Analytics, a powerful tool, was implemented, so IATSE could conceptualize and make changes.

It’s a Wrap!

One of the driving ideas behind IATSE is, “The Creative Economy is a Real Economy”. We couldn’t agree more!

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