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Case Study: Raising2Children

Michelle Cunningham, the owner, content author and website developer for Raising2Children, explains how Digital Culture Network supported the transformation of their website.

About the organisation

Raising2Children is an online resource for parents, children, young people, and colleagues that supports families. Raising2Children creates resources that amalgamate evidence-based research on child development and therapeutic tools using the arts.

What did you want to achieve?

I approached Digital Culture Network for advice as we wanted a website that encouraged collaboration, authenticity, and trust. A lot of information to develop websites can be aggressive, with tactics designed to sell and gain personal information. Digital Culture Network’s objectives, such as finding new ways to reach and engage audiences, and creating a sustainable model, aligned more closely with my objectives. 

I had plenty of ambition and content ideas but had no digital strategy, and had not thought about how the user navigated the website to access the content. It was my first time creating a website and I felt a little lost in it all. I am from a theatre/performance background and was brand new to creating digital content. It felt isolating with no feedback from fellow collaborators or a tangible audience.

What led you to reach out to the Digital Culture Network?

I was accessing Digital Culture Network’s online resources and recorded webinars, however, I wanted the space and guidance to unpick my website. Learning WordPress functionality was not easy but doable. My skill gap was curating the journey for a user and understanding how to create an experience that would have people coming back for more.  

I wanted to learn how I converted my creative, arts-based ideas into a digital experience. After reflecting, I also needed a professional to tell me I was doing ok, a mentor to coach and draw out a logical approach for the user alongside me. 

How did you do it?

I approached Roberta for website design support and also worked with another Tech Champion, Peggy to support an email strategy. I met with Roberta and Peggy on Zoom. They would coach me with key questions to develop my strategy, breaking down tasks. After each coaching session, I would come away with the next steps and tasks to complete. I would receive information such as webinars or recorded resources to help me learn what we had discussed.  I could not have done it without them! 

What happened?

I went from a blog theme to a website theme to curate the journey for the user. I had more control in navigating and separating all our different topics and resources. I created ‘call to action’ buttons, and broke my content into ‘bite-size, snack-size and meal-size’, which has changed how I think and create content for different users. Initially, users were not able to sign up for anything through the website as I wanted to ensure I followed GDPR regulations. Now, users can sign up for a monthly newsletter and download resources. 

I also needed to create content that could generate an income so the website could pay for itself. Roberta and Peggy’s coaching gave me the space to plan that journey.

Snapshot from Raising2Children's website. New website design with 'call to action' buttons

Snapshot from Raising2Children’s website. New website design with ‘call to action’ buttons

What have you learned?

At the same time as I received Digital Culture Network support, I was successful in an Arts Council England: Developing your creative practice application. My application was to create an interactive children’s e-book. The e-book will be downloadable on app platforms, however, interacting with the readers will be hosted on my website. Learning to create a user-friendly website was key and Digital Culture Network has helped to make this happen.  

I feel I am innovative, and my ambition is even higher. I believe I am more efficient in curating the journey before finalising the content. My confidence has greatly improved as I have stopped second-guessing the issue around my website, and I spend more time thinking of other ways to collaborate with users. 

What’s next?

The Digital Culture Network is here to support you and your organisation. Our Tech Champions can provide free 1-2-1 support to all creative and cultural individuals and organisations who are in receipt of, or eligible for, Arts Council England funding. If you need help or would like to chat with us about any of the advice we have covered above, please get in touch. Sign up to our newsletter below and follow us on Twitter @ace_dcn and LinkedIn for the latest updates.

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