Written by Holly Landis for Lee Media Group Internship
Article also featured here.
Gracia Burnham is a speaker who was thrust into the spotlight when she and her husband, Martin, were kidnapped and held hostage in the Philippine jungle. Martin was killed during a rescue attempt. Gracia was wounded, but survived. Last year, Gracia and her team approached Lee Media Group about building a fresh new website that was SEO friendly and mobile responsive. Our goal was to modernize while staying true to Gracia’s past. We used the gritty photos from Gracia’s captivity and paired them with a new bright color palette. We also re-structured the content to make it more user-friendly and easy to navigate.
Because Gracia is such a popular speaker, we wanted to make it easy for visitors to find out where she would be speaking. We integrated the Google Maps API into her new event calendar to make an interactive map that shows all upcoming dates. All events are populated on the map in real-time, as they are added to the calendar. Visitors can still view the upcoming events on a calendar, but they are able to use the map to find her now as well. In addition to the work we did on Gracia’s new website, we also worked with Gracia’s team to build a custom database to manage all of the contacts and donations she has received over the years. The system they had been using was custom built for them 10 years ago and was an Access database application. It contained most of the functionality they needed, but required a remote PC connection in order to access it. This made it difficult to connect to and meant there would be downtime anytime the server it was stored on was turned off or without an internet connection.
We reviewed the system they were using and created a web-based application for them that would allow them to manage their data and complete the same tasks without needing special software or remote connections. They are now able to view and manage contact information regardless of where they are.
Not only is the new system easy to use, but it is also accessible on all devices, including desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones. Each user has a unique username and password, so they can manage permissions easily. This has made the contact database available for all members of Gracia’s team and has streamlined many processes like tracking donations, book sales, and mailings.