The Society's new website launched late last year. Here RES Chief Executive Leighton Chipperfield talks about the reasons for overhauling the website, and plans for its future development.
At my interview for the Chief Executive role in 2017, I was asked to reflect on what changes I would recommend to the Society. I recall being frank (perhaps too frank!) about the quality of the Society’s website at that time. It simply did not do justice to the Society, its activities, and the members it serves. Whether we are purchasing a new car, planning a holiday, submitting a journal article or — in my case — preparing for a job interview, our expectation is that we will be able to find our answers online quickly and efficiently. For organisations like the RES, our website is very much our front window.
And it is fair to say our front window was desperately in need of updating. In my first months in post, I lost count of the members who told me how hard it was to find what they were looking for. Navigation was difficult, the content was poorly presented, and an outdated hosting platform meant that it was becoming increasingly hard to maintain. Things had to change.
Late in 2017 the Executive Committee agreed that the Society should invest in both a new website and membership system. Following a rigorous tender process we exchanged contracts with our vendor in the Spring. The last year has seen the office working closely with the Executive Committee, Council, members, early career economists and other stakeholders to decide what should be included in the website and how it should be presented. This process has taken account of the Society’s new strategy that was launched last summer. In particular, care has been taken to ensure the website caters both to our core members and to others who want to learn more about the Society, and more about economics in general.
With the new website now live, some of the major changes we hope you will notice are:
- An extensive video library from our various events, including the annual public lectures, keynote sessions from recent annual conferences, and interviews with leading economists on the major themes of the day
- Better information on member categories and benefits
- Join the Society and renew your membership online
- Apply for financial support
- Customised pages for The Economic Journal and The Econometrics Journal
- Clearer information on the Society's strategy, governance and committees
- An improved Members’ Area
- Clear contact details for the office and members of staff
Over the next 12-24 month, office staff will now be working closely with the supplier and our new Communications and Engagement committee to add extra features including:
- The ability for members to register for the Annual Conference via the website
- A member directory
- Resources for those new to economics
- Resources that highlight the Society’s work on diversity
We are keen to receive your feedback on the new website — please do drop us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or @royaleconsoc on Twitter.