AUSTIN, Texas —
In preservation, we work to restore or repurpose buildings or objects when they need a boost or have outlived their usefulness.
At the Texas Historical Commission, we’ve applied that same approach to our web presence. We spent the past year exploring a new way to tell you about our work through our website and social media.
Our staff members met in small teams and large groups to discuss how we could better serve you through our website. We asked the staff of TradeMark Media in Austin to guide us through the process of creating a more functional and visually pleasing site—our fourth version to date. We wanted to make it easier for our staff to post the latest preservation information and offer assistance when needed.
The result? We developed a website with new menus to help you find information quickly. We categorized our information under themes of Preserve, Project Review, Get Involved, Learn, and Explore. We gathered “Fast Facts” to explain the impact of our work in a flash. We added places to highlight projects and programs and a spot for our latest news and events.
We put our communication tools front and center: a new blog and our well-regarded preservation newsletter, The Medallion. But wait! What happened to The Medallion? In addition to our print and download versions, we added an e-magazine for those who enjoy a more visual online format. Our new blog focuses on telling the stories behind our programs. It incorporates all the agency’s stories, as well as a few about our partners. We rolled existing THC blogs that focused on specific programs (such as the See the Sites blog about the THC’s historic sites) into this agency-wide platform.
Our website changes are numerous. One important feature is “Need Help? Ask Us.” Now you can ask our experts a question online and receive a timely response. We also presented our current projects and programs in two menus: under the Preserve menu topic and as a side list. The list will change as we do, of course. Plus, you can still use our Texas Historic Sites Atlas database of historic properties, which is undergoing enhancements and will be better than ever.
In our Explore section we gathered information about all our travel-oriented programs such as historic sites, heritage tourism, museums, and Texas Main Street. We emphasized how developing a travel and history focus for your community helps generate economic development opportunities. Throughout the website we highlighted our program successes in archeology, courthouse and cemetery preservation, designating resources, and county historical commission outreach. We added photo and video galleries, too.
We want to better tell the story of what we do so you can join us in saving and sharing the real places and real stories of Texas. Rather than tell you everything about the website, please take a look. Escape to a historic site and read “Our Stories.” Share a page with a friend.
Let us know what you think.
Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.