Freshen Up A “Meet The Director” Page

By Chris Davis

Imagine a mother or father visiting a number of different camp websites, gathering information, and putting together a short list of camps to contact for a tour. On any website, they’ll probably want to see some photos and maybe a list of programs and activities to determine if it’s a good fit for their child. If a camp impresses with photos and activities, what would be the next important consideration?

In years of interviewing campers’ parents, I’ve learned that it is very important to have a “Meet Our Director” page on a website. This may seem obvious, and your website may already have one, but this page is actually missing from more websites than one might believe. And if it's not missing, it’s hidden, or it’s done so poorly that it would be better if it were missing!

Adding or improving this page will not only address an important item on every parent’s camp-decision checklist, but should put your camp’s name on more short lists, and ultimately attract new campers.

Why It’s Important To Parents
Let’s get into the minds of customers to determine what types of information are important about directors before parents feel comfortable sending their child to camp.

Try to imagine going through the process of selecting a camp for your child. You may have heard good things from friends or family about certain camps, but you have no personal experience with them. Or you may be going in totally cold and do not know anything about the camps you’re considering. Like every parent, you want to make sure your child is going to be safe, well-taken care of, and enjoying a great experience that broadens horizons. So … what would you want to know about each camp’s director?

Here’s what parents want to know about a camp director:

  • What is his/her background and experience?
  • What are the values?
  • What is the mission or purpose?
  • Why is he/she a camp director?
  • What is the philosophy for child care?
  • How will he/she ensure a child is safe, but also trying new things and having a great time?
  • How is the camp run?
  • What are his/her thoughts and policies related to bullying?

How To Make The Page More Effective
(1) Create a director’s page that’s easy to locate. The page can be called “Our Director” or “A Message From Our Director” or something similar. Two clicks or less should make the connection from the home page. Put a button in the main navigation that has the same title as the director’s page; it will be much easier for parents to find it at the moment they’re ready for it because it will show up at the top of every page on the website.

(2) Use attractive photos or a video. Show the director in action, doing “camp director things.” Don't use a canned, posed photo. Or show a nice photo of the director with his or her spouse and children. Even better, make a video that speaks to the parents visiting the site. Any iPhone or smartphone can shoot a professional-looking video that can be easily uploaded to a site.

(3) Know what to say and what not to say. No one wants to read a three-paragraph bio or resume—although some background is fine. Don’t use corporate language, business speak, or buzz words. Whether a video or written text is used, speak directly—use “I” and “you” and “your child” frequently. Speak as if addressing one parent, not a number of parents at the same time. Make it personable, make it human, make it warm, but most of all, make it you. Speak from the heart and don't be afraid to show some enthusiasm.

People trust people who are passionate and committed, thorough and detail-oriented. And you need the parents’ trust before they'll send their child to your camp.

What are you doing on your website to introduce yourself, your values, and your philosophy to new parents? Can you do more? Can you do it better?

Chris Davis is the owner of DVS Camp Websites. Download his free report “5 Ways Your Website Is Costing You New Campers” at www.northstarpubs.com/577 or email him at chriscb@dvscampwebsites.com.

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Use the info below for visual examples of a “good” director’s page

http://www.campwalt.com/message-from-our-directors.html

http://www.shibleydaycamp.com/about-us/message-from-the-director/--waiting for permission to use