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NC-CES

 

 Measure 1b:  Informational web site

“Develop and maintain internet website. Post newsletter articles on stormwater, information on water quality, stormwater projects and activities and ways to contact stormwater management program staff.”

The biggest advantage of a website is that you can reach large audiences with relatively little effort. The biggest disadvantage is that average citizens get most of their environmental information from other sources, particularly the news media. To make your website more effective, you can draw citizens to your site by publicizing it in the news media and at community events and presentations. You can also print it on brochures, signs and giveaway items.

Here are four steps to a successful website (EPA 2003):

  1. Register a domain name: If you already have a website, you can add stormwater web pages to it. If you are developing a new site, you may use free website hosts that allow you to use their domain to host your site (e.g., www.geocities.com, www.orgsites.com) but in the long run it is better to register your own domain. When choosing your site’s name, pick a domain that identifies your jurisdiction and easy to remember. There are many domain registers on the web with various services and fees, such as www.hostapalooza.com and www.registernames.com. Each site allows you to enter the website name you want and takes you through the registration steps. Fees range from $8 to $70 for the first two years and typically go down for future years.
  2. Design your site: You can design your own site or use the Stormwater Web Site Template provided here by the NC Cooperative Extension Service, which has been approved by the NC Division of Water Quality. If you decide to design your own website, make sure to keep it simple and easy to read and provide some interesting graphics if possible. If you decide to use the Stormwater Web Site Template, there are many parts of it that you will need to personalize with information specific to your jurisdiction.
  3. Market your site: Once your website is up and running, send information about it to newspapers and organizations that your citizens are involved in. Include the URL on all of your outreach materials – letterhead, giveaways, brochures, etc.
  4. Update your site: A stagnant website will lose the audience quickly. Keep your site up to date with press releases, downloadable brochures, event information, volunteer opportunities, meetings, etc. as they come up.