Women in Advertising and Communication Leadership (WACL)

A membership platform and website for the UK’s comms and advertising female leaders. 

The brief

WACL came to us in dire need of a new platform to host their member profiles, events, documents and committees in a simple and manageable way. Moreover, they needed website makeover to align with their new mission and raison d’etre. They were no longer a social club, they are campaigning and affecting change in causes they believe in such a woman’s right to equal pay and flexible working. 

Our role

This was a special project in that we played a strong advisory role, becoming an integral part of WACL’s team. We collaborated and co-designed every step of the way. Our digital lead guided them through their digital comms strategy, content management and archiving, membership application and onboarding process and events management in addition to the usual steps involved in creating a new online presence. We called on our design partner Brand Ethos to help with the UI creation and content strategy. 

The challenge

Every year a completely new team takes over the management and upkeep of WACL’s comms and its website.  That meant it was critical that we simplify and document not only the website’s CMS usage and user flows but also the internal processes of the admin superusers so that takeover from year to year is seamless. There was also decades of content, images and data that had to be archived yet easily accessible plus a members’ database that had to be migrated with a custom built front-end to allow members to easily update their own profiles and view others in the directory. 

The outcome

Campaigning took a central role on the new website with WACL’s messaging and agenda at the forefront. The website was built with ultra flexibility and scalability allowing for beautiful landing, events, and campaign pages to be added in mere minutes by the team without any input from us. We simplified the membership application process, ability for members to register their interest to join committees of their choice, they are able to search and use filters to find one another including by geolocation, and all the most important documents, minutes and onboarding processes are found in one place alongside events.

We spent additional time familiarising them with the CMS and how that connects with their database. We are currently working on building out a new CRM to further connect their committees and initiatives with the wider comms strategy in place. This will allow for centralised mailing lists, email marketing funnels, and stricter GDPR compliance. WACL is an organisation that’s growing from strength to strength as more women take on leadership roles and we hope to continue advising them on how to navigate that growth in the digital space. 

Hertech have been fantastic to work with. We are a small, volunteer-run organisation with little in the way of expertise when it comes to building websites. Hertech understood us, shared our values and were patient, clear, pragmatic and held our hand every step of the way. The end result is a website that we are immensely proud of: it is user friendly, our team can manage it themselves and most importantly, it looks and works beautifully and does a far better job of reflecting our organisation.
Kate Waters, WACL President, 2021-22