External Communications Committee (ECC) Report to the 2017 AGM
Kelsey Eatmon (Dalhousie ‘18) – Chair, Jeremy Brandelli (Alberta ’19), Vanessa Shewchuk (Alberta ’17), Liam McQuaid (Dalhousie ’19), Monique Bouchard (Secretariat) - staff support
After the launch of the website at the 2015 AGM, the goals of the ECC shifted toward increasing the visibility of the FCDSA among dental students as well as increasing the visibility of the new FCDSA website. Since its launch, the ECC has been working to continue developing the content of the website in addition to trying to involve dental schools in the process of development as much as possible.
Trends in website views the past year can be seen in Appendix A to this report.
The External Communications Committee has been busy this year trying to incorporate more information and photos from each school’s society to increase the inclusivity of the website as well as to continue developing the content. The ECC sought out pictures and information from each of the schools, all of which were incorporated into the website. The ECC also updated their posters for each of the FCDSA council representatives and circulated them to the schools to increase visibility of the FCDSA within each individual school.
As the ICC created a great video that was incorporated onto the website and Facebook page, the ECC chose not to make a video interviewing the FCDSA president. The ICC and ECC working together was a great success and it is the hope that projects like this will continue in the future to increase the visibility of the FCDSA and their website! A future project that was discussed which may be another great partnership between the ICC and ECC is to collaborate on an “Intro to the FCDSA” video that can be played for incoming students each year to introduce them to the FCDSA.
In terms of the replacement of stock photos on the website, the ECC had some success in finding photos that included Canadian dental students and that were of high enough quality to place as banners on web pages. While some stock photos were changed, the ECC needs to continue seeking out submissions from schools to replace all of them with pictures of Canadian dental students. While the photos that we have now are great, the ECC also needs to seek out submissions from as many schools as possible as there were only a few schools who submitted photos as therefore they are the most heavily displayed schools on the website at this time.
The ECC discussed the areas of the website needing development in great depth and clearly outlined the changes that need to be made to decrease redundancy and make it user friendly. This year, these changes will need to be implemented for the website to continue to grow.
The ECC committee’s goals in the future are to translate all the website content to French, to continue the development of the pages that are lacking content and to continue to increase the visibility of the FCDSA in all of the Canadian dental schools through the website and Facebook page.
Summary and Reflection
We have been shown in the past two years that opening the website development and content creation to schools has a great impact on increasing the number of people who visit our website. Continuing to involve dental students in the creation process is vital to increasing our visibility and shows students that we value their input and ideas as an organization.
The inter-committee work between the ICC and ECC is also a great addition to our website with many more opportunities for partnerships together that are possible.
Developing the website content and the process of adding this content to the website is a time-consuming process. As of right now, the Secretariat is the only person trained to edit the website itself even though one of the ECC members was given editing privileges. As this is a large amount of work for the Secretariat, it would be extremely beneficial to train several members of the ECC to use Squarespace to alleviate some of the work of the Secretariat as the updating and upkeep of the website is far too much work for one person!
While there continues to be a significant amount of work to do regarding the development of the website, a lot of progress has been made and the ECC looks forward to feedback, suggestions and new ideas regarding the website!
The ECC would like to thank the FCDSA Secretariat for her incredible insight and hard work!
- Train committee members to edit square space and make resources available to future ECCs.
- Work with the Dental Student Conference Committee as needed to determine needs for and establish website format and content for the 2018 Canadian Dental Student Conference.
- Make the proposed changes to the website outlined by the ECC to increase functionality and decrease repetitive content.
- Find ways to engage and connect students with the website.
- Translation of the FCDSA website.
- Modify and distribute survey for member associations to obtain feedback on the content and functionality of website once desired changes are made.
- Establish protocol for forwarding issues identified on the issues identification section of the website to FCDSA officials for consideration when developing policies and planning activities. Work with ICC as needed.
- Establish an effective way to communicate between committee members to work on projects as a team and stay updated on progression of tasks (possibly with asana)
- Establish a regular cycle of review and revision to ensure website contact is current and accurate.
There are no proposed resolutions to be brought forward to Council.