"For some time, the Society has recognised the increased need for an enhanced online presence. Increasing online traffic, providing a hub for professional development and generating a supplementary social media platform have been discussed at length by the Executive Committee, to build our national and international audience. Such actions present the potential to increase revenue for the Society which can be reinvested into the website and the professional body. In today’s technical world, we need a strong digital brand as well as a website linked to social media profiles to connect with users on multiple platforms.
I have been working closely with a web designer for nearly 12 months on this venture, through the process of web design and development, search engine optimisation, directory listings, social media, link sharing, and other avenues to create a long-term positive presence for our organisation online. Many of the previous elements remain familiar but have been updated on the new website, such as; Society and College documents, the hospital directory and the Safety Committee reporting system with new features to enable better usability. New areas include a ‘How to join the Society’ page which will be linked with online payments, membership options and an ‘Education’ tab with details regarding the Bristol MSc course and the new Student Logbook.
The new search facility is designed to will help users navigate with ease. The additional ‘Events’ tab contains information intended to inform individuals about our annual congress and sponsorship packages as well as serving to draw interest from perfusionists within Great Britain & Ireland and beyond, as well as those in our extended multi-disciplinary team. In the past, we have requested input from the membership via the Perfusionist regarding there-design of the Society logo, but unfortunately, there were no submissions. We have therefore designed a new logo with a modern interpretation of the original to represent the profession.
A current and state-of-the-art website builds credibility, cuts administrative costs, targets a larger audience and increases accessibility. Going forward we are hoping to develop the website further with online CPD, online voting, the possibility of College re-registration, and access to the latest edition of the Perfusionist magazine. Social media accounts have also been set-up with an additional closed Facebook group to provide a forum for discussion on areas of interest to the membership. This has been a very intense and time-consuming process which remains in its infancy. As such, we are keen for feedback and suggestions to take our new website further and to develop a platform to serve and to represent our members."