Why does the APWA Florida Chapter have a website? Just read the reasons why below...
1. To Establish A Presence
Approximately 100 million people worldwide have access to the World Wide Web (WWW) and it is estimated by the end of 2010 150 million will have Web access. No matter what your business is, you can't ignore 100 million people. To be a part of that community and show you are interested in serving them, you need to be on the WWW for them.
2. To Network
A lot of what passes for business is simply nothing more than making connections with other people. Every smart business person knows, it's not what you know, it's who you know. Passing out your business card is part of every good meeting and every business person can tell more than one story how a chance meeting turned into the big deal. Well, what if you could pass out your business card to thousands, maybe millions of potential clients and partners, saying this is what I do and if you are ever in need of my services, this is how you can reach me. You can, 24 hours a day, inexpensively and simply, on the WWW.
3. To Make Chapter Information Available
What is basic business information? Think of a Yellow Pages ad. What are your hours? What do you do? How can someone contact you? What methods of payment do you take? Where are you located at? Now think of a Yellow Pages ad where you have instant communication. What is today's special? Today's interest rate? Next week's parking lot sale information? If you could keep your customer informed of every reason why they should do business with you, don't you think you could do more business? You can on the WWW.
4. To Serve Your Members
Making business information available is one of the most important ways to serve your members. But if you look at serving the member, you'll find even more ways to use WWW technology. All this can be done, and more, on the WWW.
5. To Heighten Public Interest
You won't get Newsweek magazine to write up your local store opening, but you might get them to write up your Web Page address if it is something new and interesting. Even if Newsweek would write about your local store opening, you wouldn't benefit from someone in a distant city reading about it, unless of course, they were coming to your town sometime soon. With Web page information, anybody anywhere who can access the Web and hears about you is a potential visitor to your Web site and a potential customer for your information there.
6. To Release Time Sensitive Materials
What if your materials need to be released no earlier than midnight? Now the information can be made available at midnight or any time you specify, with all related materials such as photographs, bios, etc. released at exactly the same time. Imagine the anticipation of "All materials will be made available on our Web site at 12:01 AM". The scoop goes to those that wait for the information to be posted, not the one who releases your information early.
7. To make pictures, sound and film files available
The WWW allows you to add sound, pictures and short movie files to your company's info if that will serve your potential customers. No brochure will do that.
8. To reach a highly desirable demographic market
The demographic of the WWW user is probably the highest mass-market demographic available. Usually college-educated or being college educated, making a high salary or soon to make a high salary, it's no wonder that Wired magazine, the magazine of choice to the Internet community, has no problem getting Lexus and other high-end marketer's advertising. Even with the addition of the commercial on-line community, the demographic will remain high for many years to come.
9. To Answer Frequently Asked questions
Whoever answers the phones in your organization can tell you, their time is usually spent answering the same questions over and over again. These are the questions customers and potential customers want to know the answer to before they deal with you. Post them on a WWW page and you will have removed another barrier to doing business with you and free up some time for that harried phone operator.
10. To Create a 24 Hour Service
If you've ever remembered too late or too early to call the opposite coast, you know the hassle. We're not all on the same schedule. Business is worldwide but your office hours aren't. Web pages serve the client, customer and partner 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No overtime either. It can customize information to match needs and collect important information that will put you ahead of the competition, even before they get into the office.
11. To Make Changing Information Available Quickly
Sometimes, information changes before it gets off the press. Now you have a pile of expensive, worthless paper. Electronic publishing changes with your needs. No paper, no ink, no printer's bill. You can even attach your web page to a database which customizes the page's output to a specific need or customer, and you can change as many times in a day as you need. No printed piece can match that flexibility.
12. To Reach The Education Market
If your market is education, consider that most universities already offer Internet access to their students and most K-12's will be on the Internet within the next few years.