Lansdale Borough knows its website stinks.
It's no surprise then — now that the 100-plus-page branding narrative and platform from North Star Destination Strategies is in the hands of borough council and committeemembers — that a facelift of www.lansdale.org is a major branding touchpoint to be implemented ASAP.
"It's not easy," said Communication Commission Chairman Denton Burnell Monday night at the joint session with the borough Economic Development Committee, "but we absolutely have to tackle it now 100 percent. We have to throw out the old and start over."
Suggestions were made at the final presentation on the branding initiative by North Star of what a website could look like. Even Burnell designed a mock-up of a revised website at http://lansdale.weebly.com.
Borough Manager Timi Kirchner agreed that a new website should a touchpoint implemented immediately.
"When people want to know something about our town, they go to the website," she said. "If it's not attractive or easy, we are sending a bad message."
Kirchner said the borough administration is in the process of drafting a Request for Proposal for website services.
Burnell said the designer should be a company that can provide design and redesign, overhaul, build and hosting.
"I want to add that we will look everywhere," Burnell said. "We will pick the best group to (overhaul the website). It's more than just designing. It runs the gamut from the look to how we update it. It's much more than building a pretty website."
"I'd love having local companies put in," said Economic Development Committee Chairwoman Mary Fuller.
Kirchner said there will be ways to use local companies, as the borough rolls out its brand.
"It's a public Request for Proposal document. Local companies and national firms can come in, and we will pick the best," Kirchner said.
Kirchner added that wayfinding will be a big part of the brand as well. The Lansdale wayfinding initiative will recommend how to implement signage for downtown draws, general parking, SEPTA stops and parking, and parks and recreation facilities.
"We will have our own particular steering committee on that," she said. "In March, we will get a public proposal from (wayfinding package consultant) Merje Design. Economic Development Committee/Communication Commission is the right group to bring this in front of."
Merje Environments & Experiences is based in West Chester.
Resident Steve Jones commented that the borough must be careful to include the brand narrative in everything, "and not slip back into that thinking of just the logo and tagline."
Burnell said it's easy to fall back and slap an "L" on something and say "It's branded."
"Without the narrative," he said, "it won't mean anything to anybody."
Thoughts? Ideas? Questions? Lansdale Borough can be reached at 215-368-1691.
What's the brand narrative?
We are in motion from the moment we're born. Our hands, our feet, our minds, our point of view, our hearts, our passions, our careers, our families. Always growing, learning, seeking and connecting. Wouldn't it be nice to live in a place where it's easy to find what moves you?
The Borough of Lansdale is just such a place. A community connected by caring ... designed specifically to help set your dreams in motion. Here all of life is at your feet.
In fact, in Lansdale people prefer to enjoy the safe neighborhoods and public green space on foot. Maybe that's because the centralized downtown and authentic main street hearken back to a time when people were connceted by more than public transportation. Stroll through one of the charming neighborhoods, and you'll feel the genuine warmth in the greetings. Just don't be surprised if strangers wave to you from the front porch! Walkable cities help citizens move closer to the things that matter, connecting with every step to health, friends and community.
Of course, if your travels take you a little farther, all access in Lansdale is quick and easy including taking the R5, SEPTA or the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Within minutes, you can be on your way to Philadelphia or other points north. And equally as easily, you can head back home to Lansdale.
Maybe what moves you is the opportunity for your kids, including great education and the chance to walk to school with friends. (Yep, they still do that around here!) Or affordable real estate that means your dream home can become your real home.
With professional jonbs in growth-oriented industries, Lansdale is also a great place to put your career in motion. The fact that there's good old-fashioned support for local businesses makes it a great place for entrepreneurs too. You'll find a local community ready to help cut red tape and share the resources needed for success.
Lansdale also sets in motion things that can't easily be measured like friends and family, support and genuine relationships. The truth is, no one stays a stranger very long in Lansdale. Easy to get around and easy to get to know your neighbors ... it brings a tight-knit community feel, and provides a sense of belonging that's missing in other "newer" suburban destinations.
It's these people, the local residents and businesses that keep Lansdale moving forward. They get involved in everything from PTAs to public events. They're the reason you'll find vibrant opportunities to engage in the social, cultural and civic groups. And they welcome you to do the same ... to feel a part of this place. To find the passion and purpose that moves you.
So whatever gets you going, whether it's a better life for your family or a better livelihood, in Lansdale you'll find everything you want ... life in motion.