One of the most important things that the National Association of Broadcasters (my employer) does is to spotlight the incredible community service efforts of America’s local broadcasters. Each day of the year, radio and television stations provide not just local news, weather and traffic to their communities, but they do a ton of fundraising and charity drives, organize community events and other initiatives to uplift their neighborhoods, towns and cities.
I had the honor of redesigning NAB’s website, BroadcastPublicService.org, which regularly posts stories of local broadcasters doing amazing things in their communities. The site is primarily database-driven, which allows our public service departments to post stories using an internal content management system. Those stories are automatically posted to the site, where users can view them by state, topic or other filters.
We wanted a homepage that was both dynamic yet consistent in its treatment of new stories, while also giving users a quick way to get to stories that interest them the most. Obviously, the navigation is the cleanest way to accomplish the latter, but the big feature on the homepage is an interactive map that users can click on to drill down to stories in their particular state. To accomplish the former, we created four story spots right beneath the navigation. This allows for new stories to flow onto the homepage anytime the public service department adds new content.
At the very bottom of the homepage, there is room to highlight prominent and new public service announcement (PSA) campaigns, which are radio or television spots that stations air as part of their public service efforts, and can be about anything from drug addiction to suicide prevention to supporting our veterans.
In addition to the robust website for broadcasters’ public service, the department also has a monthly newsletter, Licensed to Serve, that they send out to NAB’s members, partner organizations and most importantly – local and national policymakers. Nothing helps reinforce broadcasters’ strong bonds with their communities than a member of congress seeing that a particular station raised a million dollars for a local charity in his or her district. 😉
Since the website and newsletter are tied so closely in terms of content, it’s important that their branding be as close to each other as possible while giving them each a unique identity. This is accomplished by using a similar header graphic, but changing out the descriptor words from “Local Stations. Big Impact.” on the website to “Licensed to Serve” in the email, as a nod to the fact that broadcasters have a license from the federal government and serve their communities daily.