A formula for online success

ERIEweb editors mix timely news with lots of employee interaction and some fun features … and the result is an online publication that people actually read

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That’s what’s going on at Erie Insurance and the company’s online publication, ERIEweb. Of course, much of that traffic can be attributed to the fact that Erie communicators do what every online editor should do: Make the first page of the online publication the home page of the intranet. That way, when people log onto the intranet to do other things—get a form, find a phone number, etc.—they are automatically reading the publication.

But that little trick will only get people to the front page. From there, you have to have timely, relevant content if you want them to actually read the material. And Erie does that well, too.

“The home page is anchored by a new daily story,’ says Carolyn Sennett, who, along with Matt Wilcko and Denny Morell, runs the communication side of ERIEweb. “The previous day’s story is then recycled under the ‘New to Site’ category, where it eventually falls off but is available in the ‘News Archive.”

That would seem to take care of the timeliness factor. Daily updates give people a reason to come every day, right? But what about the relevance factor? Are there really enough stories, and enough relevant content, to fuel a once-a-day update strategy. Sennett says absolutely.

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