BURLINGTON, NC (September 26, 2012) – Corporate Chaplains of America (CCA) is growing. In the past few years, the Wake Forest, N.C.-based company has built its own permanent headquarters, has welcomed many new Chaplains and support staff, and, in the past few months, has become an international organization with business and ministry opportunities opening up in the Philippines.
In 2011, to keep up with and encourage growth, CCA determined it was time to update the look, feel and purpose of their website.
“The old site was very dated and limited,” said CCA Senior Vice President Jeff Hilles. “It focused mostly on applicants to the chaplaincy. We needed a way to address all our audiences – especially business owners and CEOs interested in incorporating the chaplaincy into their workplaces.”
As a faith-based ministry and business, Corporate Chaplains had a unique need: a website development firm sympathetic to the mission and vision of building “caring relationships with the hope of gaining permission to share the life-changing Good News of Jesus Christ in a non-threatening manner.”
North Star had recently completed development of an iPad presentation for Corporate Chaplains’ “Caring Partners’ Challenge” program. This project, which utilized a fresh approach to CCA’s branding scheme, provided significant design direction for recasting the organization’s website.
“We really enjoyed getting into the messaging of the iPad presentation,” said Andy Lynch, Principal of North Star Marketing. “Corporate Chaplains is a unique organization that is doing something special in the marketplace. We’re honored to contribute to their marketing program.”
Starting for Success
A successful website build for CCA required a four-part process involving discovery, design, photography and messaging. Without a solid foundation in each of these areas, the website would provide an inconsistent, confusing experience for users, affecting the perception of the company’s brand, service and culture.
The project required a complete overhaul of the existing website, including design and a substantial portion of content. Corporate Chaplains’ new site was built on the WordPress platform, the industry standard in content management, and designed by North Star Marketing’s Senior Designer Rob McDorman, who also served as photographer. Lynch and NSM Copywriter Elizabeth Travers worked together on content.
Corporate Chaplains’ founder and CEO Mark Cress made it clear from the outset of the project that the site should speak clearly to business owners and HR managers. Having clarity on what is important to each audience was imperative for the design process.
“When we started the website development project with Corporate Chaplains, they sat down with us and explained their mission: what they do, why they do it, and the people they interact with,” said McDorman. “It was crucial to the design for us to understand their audiences and what would speak to them so that we could communicate CCA’s intentions and culture. Their goal is to support employees and business owners – our challenge was to communicate that balance through the design, the photography and the messaging on the site.”
Photography, Design and Messaging
Professional photography anchored CCA’s brand “voice” and persona on the website: relational, trustworthy, professional, and approachable.
McDorman conducted a full-day shoot and a half-day shoot, both on location at CCA’s Wake Forest headquarters and in the field at one of the company’s many Triangle-area businesses. Business environments visited ranged from office spaces to garages, junkyards, manufacturing facilities and industrial buildings.
Images of Chaplains with employees complement images of CCA leadership at the Wake Forest, N.C.-based training center, communicating the company’s broad reach and diversity of clients. To see Corporate Chaplains’ custom images, browse their website: www.chaplain.org.
Headers on interior pages incorporate a series of large-scale custom paintings that hang in Corporate Chaplains’ training center. The unique paintings, which depict Chaplains in a variety of settings – from industrial to corporate – keep the website warm and welcoming.
“Pictures tell a story faster than words,” said Hilles. “Workplace chaplaincy is a new concept to many, and the images on our website communicate our mission and culture within seconds – it’s a perfect medium for the Internet where everything happens quickly.”
McDorman also created the newly designed framework for all the elements.
“CCA had some elements from their old site that they wanted to carry over to the new design, such as the prominence of their brand’s red color, the use of large images, and lots of space for strong messaging,” said McDorman. “We provided not just a large rotator on the home page but image-based fly-out menus and a space for video uploads.”
While users experience multiple media on the home page, every element is enhanced by clear, consistent messaging. Each rotating image communicates CCA’s brand in both image and word, while the fly-out menus allows CCA to feature key aspects of the company’s culture. Brief home page orientation content gives casual users a high-level appreciation of CCA’s mission and service. A news feed keeps the home page content fresh and relevant.
The total effect is a seamless expression of CCA’s brand “story” and a useful starting point for interested business owners, human resources directors, employees, and future chaplains.
About Corporate Chaplains of America
Corporate Chaplains of America is a non-denominational organization that exists to build relationships with and offer care to employees with personal and professional life issues. The goal of the organization is to care for all employees regardless of ethnic or faith background while doing so in a non-threatening manner and within the parameters of the White House Guidelines for Religious Exercise and Religious Expression in the Federal Workplace. To learn more about Corporate Chaplains of America, visit www.chaplain.org.
About North Star Marketing
Based in Burlington, North Carolina, North Star Marketing is a full-service marketing strategy and creative services firm, providing branding, website development, print collateral design, advertising, public relations and online marketing to businesses, non-profits and schools. For more information about our integrated-communications services, please contact us at 336-229-6610.