How should we communicate with our members?


There are tons of different ways to get the word out about things these days. Social media sites, twitter, email, websites, discussion forums, word of mouth. We take kind of a scatter shot approach to that for PSEC. We try to participate in everything and this year I’ve expanded our outreach on the facebooks and twitters and linkedins. I don’t think it has made much of a difference.

How can we be more effective at communicating? Is there something else we should be doing?


I think that we should come up with a way of syncing event calendars and other information between the websites of the societies and the PSEC website. It is relatively easy to sync calendars in Microsoft SharePoint. We could also have a single calendar to which the societies link. We could also use a chat device like this Discourse site to give access to information form the individual societies. Perhaps write access could be limited to the officers of the societies. The most recent posts would be placed at the top. SharePoint gives you the ability to do the same thing on Wiki sites and on Team sites. You can also publish blogs on SharePoint.

So what about using SharePoint instead of Wordpress?

We do have a aggregate calendar…or we did. I just checked and it doesn’t appear to be up anymore here’s the dead url. It was done via something called the Elm City Project. I don’t think it was very successful so I don’t publicize it anymore.

The Wordpress software we’re running also has some pretty good calendar plugins where we could do the same things that you talk about with SharePoint. The problem wasn’t with the technology, though I think. I just couldn’t get people to create calendars. The SWE does a great job keeping up a calendar and the Engineers Without Borders had a calendar for a while.


Speaking of calendars, I got a message from Carmen at ASHRAE. They use a Wordpress plugin called Events Pro to display their events calendar on their site. They are importing the PSEC calendar. You can see it here. They did have to pay for the plugin but you can see that it is possible to do with our current software.