At the direction of the President, Buck Ewing, the Communications Committee was directed to rebrand AAERT. The task was assigned to Geoff Hunt, Communications Committee Chair. He was directed to create an entirely new look for the association. An image that put forth a more professional presentation of our association and our profession to the world. This assignment included the creation of a new logo, slogan, and website.
Since AAERT’s founding in the early 1990s, the original AAERT logo included the swish. The swish was intended to resemble an audiotape. A few variations of the swish were made over the years. The coloring changed as well as the slogan from “Promoting Excellence in Electronic Reporting” to “The Record That Speaks For Itself”. The logo and our image remained essentially the same for over twenty years. Most national organizations go through some form of image update every five years. AAERT was long overdue for a facelift.
The first stage of rebranding included the creation of a new logo and slogan. The committee, consisting of Geoff Hunt, Steve Townsend , Mike Tannen, administration, and Buck Ewing, ex-officio, chose to use a crowd-based design service. Crowd-based services post your project to a trade-specific website where contract artists offer their concepts for a new logo. Over 100 artists responded submitting more than 370 renditions of new logos. A tedious process of elimination ensued and the new logo finalists were submitted to the AAERT Board of Directors for selection of the final logo.
A similar process was used for the slogan. Ideas were submitted by committee members, and there was agreement that the old slogan, “The Record That Speaks For Itself” spoke to us and was incorporated into the AAERT brand.
The development of the new website was the final stage of the rebranding of AAERT. This final task was found to be the most difficult by far. The goal was to build a website that when the user entered, would have a big impact or “wow” factor. It had to provide current information, and the user experience needed to be improved. In other words, the new site needs to include rich content and be easy to navigate. It needs to be a resource that all of our members and visitors benefit from. It also needs to remain current so that users would return for information on a regular basis.
A new website template was chosen from a library of templates provided through
YourMembership, our website services provider. With the board’s approval of the Premium Plus Package, the new template was purchased and the build-out of the new website began. After sorting through thousands of photos and illustrations from iStock.com., the graphic art for the home page and subpages were selected. New drop-down menu items were created and current as well as new content were back-filled into the old, legacy website.
All of your AAERT leadership and committee chairs have been involved along the way. Committee chairs have contributed new suggestions and content to their menu items. Mike Tannen, Executive Director, has worked closely with the YourMembership design team and contributed his expertise building out the new site. This includes formatting, content, and inserting graphics to the legacy site for transfer to our new site. President Buck Ewing monitored the process through every step and pushed his concept of creating a site that we can be proud of.
Well, here it is. The Communications Committee and your AAERT Board of Directors hope you like and enjoy using your new website at AAERT.org. The new AAERT website is not 100 percent completed. There will be changes to content over the coming weeks to improve Search Engine Optimization. We hope to keep the information current, informative, and useful to our members.
Visit AAERT.org often to keep abreast of “In the Spotlight” and “In The News” sections. Follow our online calendar to keep track of important dates for certification testing, seminars, and conferences you can benefit from. Remember, the more often you visit AAERT.org and the longer you stay benefits our placement in organic search engine rankings. If you have news or suggestions for our webpage, please contact Geoff Hunt or Mike Tannen. Thank you for your interest in AAERT. Enjoy our new resource.