As part of an amazing team communication plan there are a few good options for setting up a team website for communications. Like anything else there are pros and cons with any option. For the purposes of this article, we’re assuming you need the basics of a calendar, availability tracker, and photo sharing. All of the main apps like Shutterfly and Teamsnap have these options. No matter what you use, I recommend the following:
- Fill out the roster completely – That means getting BOTH parents contact information. So many times there is often a “primary” parent that always brings the child to practice. You may never meet the other one until the first game. You will likely not even receive their contact info from the league. Ask for this ahead of time at your parent meeting and ensure you get any missing contact info from the primary parent after first practice. This ensures both parents see your excellent communication and removes tons of last minute calls/texts about field location from the “secondary” parent when the primary is not around. Get both emails AND cells. Note – If for any reason the parent is hesitant (or cannot) provide 2nd parent info, just change your phrasing and ask for any secondary contact in case of emergency
- Personalize it – Every early opportunity you get together you should be snapping a few photos–also a great role for a volunteer. Get these on the site in prominent locations so it encourages parents to actually use the site.
- Ensure accuracy – If the website is not ALWAYS the most recent and correct information, guess where parents are going to go instead of the site? That’s right, to your inbox and cell. If they can’t trust it, they won’t look at it.
- Use the calendar and availability religiously – Encourage parents to SUBSCRIBE to the calendar so they automatically see updates on their calendar app. Get parents in the habit of communicating attendance through the site unless YOU want to be responsible for recording it somewhere
- Encourage photo capture – Nothing builds team camaraderie faster than sharing fun photos with the group. Prime the pump by doing some early yourself, then transition that role to a volunteer as quickly as you can and encourage others to join in.
- Text thread – Be sure to supplement your website with a group text thread.
Just remember that perception matters. Just like your communication plan, if the website is well managed, people assume you are just as well put together on the pitch.