The South Algonquin Business Alliance had a meeting on Nov. 19 to discuss the planning and execution of their new website with Josh Lichty, the founder and creative director of Reveal Creative Solutions and Alexandria Anderson, an online media strategist with Alex & Co. Angela Pollak, the secretary with SABA says they anticipate a draft site to be ready in early February of next year, while the final site should go live by the end of February, 2022.
SABA’s meeting with Lichty and Anderson about their new website occurred virtually on Nov. 19 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Google Meets. Lichty and his company are doing the website development while Anderson is looking after SABA’s online media strategy.
Pollak says it was a great meeting and a lively conversation.
“Our marketing specialist and website developer met with three people from the [SABA] executive to ask questions and discuss the goals and objectives of what we want our new website to look like,” she says.
The website hasn’t gone live yet, so this was a kickoff meeting for the site’s development, according to Pollak.
“We contacted the firm to begin work earlier in the summer, but we are all so busy until Thanksgiving that we weren’t able to meet as a group until now. They’ve been primarily gathering information in the meantime. We met on [Nov. 19] to discuss timelines and the goals of the website,” she says.
Lichty is the founder and creative director of Reveal Creative Solutions, which specializes in content strategy, inbound marketing and graphic design. Anderson is an online media strategist with Alex & Co. Pollak says that they are both helping SABA set up social media accounts as well, although SABA will be responsible for app development, which they expect to release at the same time as the website or shortly thereafter.
“We are anticipating a draft site will be available early in February , with the final version launching in mid to late February ,” she says.
Pollak explains that SABA’s new website and app are part of creating their community’s first digital strategy for tourism, which she says has four goals. These are; communicating with their market and highlighting local businesses and unique outdoor recreational opportunities South Algonquin offers in all four seasons, connect SABA with other support organizations like TheGreatCanadianWilderness.ca, continuing to prioritize accessibility as their website and app will be AODA compliant (Pollak says the app has numerous accessibility features like voice to speech recognition and vision impairment adaptions to reach those of all ages and abilities and will coincide with the grant writing work they’ve been doing to increase their local infrastructure accessibility) and to open new revenue possibilities for SABA through paid advertising placements.
“Regarding point number four, the tourism and economic development work SABA needs to do locally is going to need more funding than our local businesses can provide. Part of our funding strategy is to build a social media following large enough that outside advertisers will want to work with us and pay us to have access to our market. We are at the beginning of what is likely going to be a three-to-five-year plan to achieve this,” she says.
Pollak emphasizes that SABA is always looking for volunteers that believe that South Algonquin is a great place to live, work and play. She stresses that prospective applicants don’t need any special skills, just enthusiasm and an interest in working together to make their community a better place. Anyone who is interested in volunteering with SABA should reach out to them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times