May 2012

Contractors and Iron Workeocals Ramp Up Branding Efforts With New Web Templates Through IMPACT

Can a website be readily customized yet both beautiful AND ridiculously easy to use?

IMPACT says, “Hell, yes!”

IMPACT Technology Administrator Dave Fuson explains: “We’re pleased to provide a stunning upgrade to our long-offered website program.” According to Fuson, the highlight of the ready-made web templates offered through IMPACT is their ability to reflect the unique needs and specialties of local unions and contractors. “Local unions, district councils, contractors and anyone else who’s part of the union can pick a template, but then customize it with their own logos, photos, news and anything else they had on their old site or want to see on a revamped version of their site.”

Initiated in 2007, the website program originally offered basic web templates only to Iron Worker locals and district councils. Now, the templates are available to Iron Worker locals, district councils AND contractors. Currently, 54 locals, two district councils, one training facility and one contractor take advantage of the program.

Now, the expanded offering and new designs aim to save website managers and administrators time, too. Web administrators will have the option to insert news feeds directly from IMPACT and Iron Worker news and YouTube accounts (see screenshots). “It provides a constant stream of fresh content without the hassle of manually inputting the new information,” Fuson said.

And while customizability helps the websites to reflect the unique flavor and personality of locals and contractors from across North America, it also helps ironworkers and contractors tell a story. And that’s crucial from a branding and marketing standpoint. Kevin Hilton, CEO of IMPACT, was one of the driving forces behind the upgrade to the website program. Said Hilton, “We wanted to give our guys the best possible medium to market themselves to contractors, owners, GC’s, and anyone else who’s interested in forming a relationship with the union.”

The templates are available now, and the early adopters have provided rave reviews.

Darrell LaBoucan, director of Canadian Affairs for the Iron Workers International, said that the new website opens up an array of unexplored possibilities related to member engagement. “We think that more and more people are going to be online, so the new site will serve as a hub of community and business building.” LaBoucan added, “Contractors will also be able to get on the site and link in to a lot of our local activity that they may not have had ready access to before.”

Contractors without websites—or with websites that need upgrading—can also take full advantage of the program. “We had an old website that we didn’t really use as a tool,” said Bill Chrissy, a representative from Apollo Steel Corp. in Niagara Falls, N.Y. “We’ve received numerous compliments on the website. Now we can also use it as a tool to showcase our work and help GC’s get a better idea of what we do.”

Those interested in learning more about how they can take advantage of the website program should contact Dave Fuson at info@impact-net.org. Dave will put you in contact with Union Labor Works, the company responsible for the high-tech upgrades to IMPACT’s website offerings.

“While we were involved in the launch of the old sites, we were not involved with the development and design work of that system,” said Ross Sacco, vice president with Union Labor Works, the company that has generously provided expertise to guide the web upgrades. “Now through our years of servicing those sites, we’re pleased to offer updated designs as well as an enhanced content management system that we feel will serve IMPACT better as they take a new direction with this project.”

For more ideas on how you can build and customize your website, take a look at some of the sites that have already been designed. Apollo Steel (http://www.apollosteel.com/) provides a good example of web customization for contractors. The Ironworkers District Council of Western Canada site (http://ironworkerswesterncanada.org/) provides another good example of how local unions and district councils can customize their online offerings.