This article originally appeared in The Discoverer, a publication of District 64 Toastmasters (Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario), May 2001 (Vol 1, Issue 5).
One year ago, my club set up a new website at www.ManitobaMorning.org. The results of this website have been amazing. Virtually all the guests at Manitoba Morning meetings and every member who has joined the club since then found us through our website.
A club website can be a wonderful promotional tool for any club. Your club website is a great place to tell guests and members about the benefits of Toastmasters, upcoming club events, meeting locations, and contact people. You can also include helpful links to the District website, the District Intranet site, and to Toastmasters International. (To help the District keep its own website up to date, please let the District webmaster know your club’s website address!)
Tips for an effective website:
- Register a domain name for your club, using your own club name. It looks very professional and will never change as long as you keep renewing it. Domain name registration has become very inexpensive. Many companies offer site hosting at little or no cost and may offer the use of email addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Regularly update upcoming events lists, meeting information and club contact lists. Include a “last updated” date so visitors know the information is current.
- Create a professional-looking site by avoiding cluttered backgrounds, harsh text colours and anything that distracts or makes the site hard to read. Simple is better.
- Toastmasters International has important guidelines for clubs setting up websites (http://toastmasters.org/guides.htm).
- Include the city and province where you meet. Visitors need to know where you are!
- List email links for, at minimum, a contact person and the webmaster. Provide the name and phone number of a member who is willing take calls from site visitors interested in Toastmasters.
Some District 64 Sites:
www.umanitoba.ca/campus/groups/toastmasters/ (UM Masters)
www.toastmasters.mb.ca/ (Venio Dictum)
www.ManitobaMorning.org/ (Manitoba Morning)
Teresa Cooper, CL
Manitoba Morning Webmaster