Website Lessons from the Brunei BSB International Marathon
In late 2014 I participated in the BSB International Marathon organized by the Brunei Athletics Association. How did I do? I’m glad you asked 🙂 I placed 33rd out of the 127 runners in my category and covered 5km in 32 minutes 28 seconds, a personal best.
Despite the issues that plagued the marathon, I think a hearty “Congratulations” is in order to the Brunei Athletics Association. I’m sure they will take the lessons learned to heart and do even better next time. That said, there are a few website matters we can scrutinize and draw reminders from.
BAA set up a website for the event and also created a Facebook page, a Twitter account and an Instagram page. Their social media channels were prominently displayed in their website header.
That’s 4 different channels for users to choose from. That’s also 4 different channels for BAA to update and maintain. And it seems this is where BAA encountered some problems because news updates were not equally disseminated. Facebook seemed to be the outlet of choice with the official website an afterthought. As of typing, the marathon is over and the official website’s Race Route page is still blank.
Meanwhile Facebook received route information between 30th October to 5th November.
Twitter and Instagram languished receiving their final updates on 7th November, 9 days before the day of the race. Oh dear.
This obviously is not ideal. I don’t know what happened but any platform that serves to deliver updates the public needs to be equally maintained. Updates and maintenance require resources — manpower, money, time… — which need to be set aside in advanced.
Connecting to social media platforms helps you stay connected with your market. But all this requires manpower: make sure you have people who will create new content and engage your customers on social media platforms.
It would also help to establish (and put in writing) a Workflow, a list of tasks to complete when new updates are received. Assign people to the tasks and have 1 person accountable for ensuring all the tasks are completed. This is basically the RACI Matrix in a nutshell and really does not have to be complicated at all.
Certainly, there are ways to simplify information broadcast. Services like BufferApp and HootSuite help to publish to multiple social media channels simultaneously. Websites can also be integrated to push updates to social media. I’m not sure what CMS the BAA Marathon website is using though a quick glance at the underlying code seems to suggest none was used.
BAA has since admitted to being under prepared for the event. Hopefully they’ll learn from this experience to avoid heated albeit valid criticisms in the future.
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