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News The Correspondent Future-Proof: Major Updates...

Future-Proof: Major Updates to Club Communications


Communications Committee Co-Convenor Genavieve Alexander provides a backstage pass to the committee’s recent projects and upcoming plans.

As co-convenors of the Communications Committee, Kristine Servando and I have spent the last year working closely with the FCC marketing team, the Board of Governors and General Manager Didier Saugy to revamp the club’s communication channels and brand identity. Our mission? To future-proof the club’s visual image, improve the overall experience and attract new members.

Among the highlights is a freshly redesigned website with a dedicated “Members Area” – a one-stop-shop where members can book events, reserve a table, order club merchandise and manage their accounts. “The website’s new design and photography make it more inviting and interesting for members, and the speed of the site improves the user experience,” says Saugy, who has been instrumental in steering the new website. “You can still call us to book events or tables, not everyone is a tech master, and we welcome feedback.”

The Correspondent magazine has also had a revamp with an elevated design and content overhaul, as has our weekly FCC “What’s On” member e-newsletter. Meanwhile, the club’s social media channels – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube – have been steadily growing in popularity and engagement thanks to our content strategies.

We hope these tools help members get the most out of the club and attract new faces to our eclectic community. In the meantime, we caught up with three of the people who brought these initiatives to life.

A Refreshed Website

Every institution, even one as historic as the FCC, needs an online presence that fits neatly into its customers’ lifestyles. Hearing the call from members for a faster, more streamlined and mobile-friendly website, we set to work to bring you a totally redesigned website with a beautiful layout and several useful, convenient functions.

This spring, we were proud to launch the new website and collect feedback from members for further tweaks and improvements. We asked designer Jonathan Gillespie of Boss Digital about the new look, feel and functionality to learn more:

 

What can members expect from the new website?

Jonathan Gillespie: In a nutshell: You’ll discover a more mobile-friendly site with faster loading speeds and greater security. You’ll also enjoy more convenient access to member services online, including your account, through a new personalised member dashboard where you can make bookings, place orders and manage your profile. We’ve also incorporated an improved shopping experience via the FCC e-Shop – where food, beverages, merchandise, and books are all on sale – and an event calendar that makes it easy to search, browse and book events.

 

What are the key features of the redesign?

JG: We’ve used the latest FCC brand colours and a contemporary design that utilises new technologies, including an auto-updating homepage, push notifications, subtle animations and page loading effects. It’s compatible on desktop, mobile and tablet, plus there’s a new online enquiry form that sends messages directly to the relevant FCC department.

 

How can members get the most from the website?

JG: All you have to do is create an account via the Members Area, so you can make bookings for events, functions, restaurants and shop online.

 

What’s still in the pipeline?

JG: We have apps for iOS and Android in the works, which we plan to launch this summer. Members can set communication preferences, such as email or push notifications, based on what type of information they wish to receive – be that events, news, or promotions.

Have feedback on the new website? Share it with our concierge team via phone (2521 1511) or email ([email protected]).

Turning a New Page

The Correspondent magazine has a long history, dating to the 1970s. The original design held steady for decades, only seeing a revamp for the first time in 2016. Four years later, in 2020, designer Noel de Guzman helped move the magazine forward again with a new look.

“We incorporated the club’s corporate colours – blue and yellow – and peppered them throughout the magazine to create a more modern, punchy look and guide the reader’s eye,” says de Guzman.

“We also added a lot of entry points such as icons, boxes and pull-outs to make the pages more interesting and selected a new headline font, Roboto, and body font, Adobe Caslon Pro, to make the magazine look more contemporary and easier to read.”

The magazine has grown by leaps over the last few decades, and the print run of 2,800 copies per quarter now reaches 2,405 members, 93 reciprocal clubs, 31 press clubs, 125 consulates and 35 clubs across 43 countries.

To learn more about the 2020 upgrade, we asked Editor Kate Springer to weigh in on the content direction:

 

How has the magazine changed in design and content?

Kate Springer: In terms of design, we have aimed for a more energised look that is easier to read and navigate thanks to a thoughtful balance of text and visuals. A little white space goes a long way! Noel has done a great job of retaining the classic FCC style while embracing a more contemporary tone.

When revamping the content, I set out to emphasise people – exactly what makes the FCC so special – as well as timely press freedom issues, regional coverage and more lifestyle content. We’ve also played around with formats to keep things interesting, so readers will find a nice mix of round-ups and Q&As, short highlights, graphs, illustrations, longer reads, photo essays, retrospectives and more.

Whether you read the magazine from cover to cover, or you dip in for an article or two, we hope that you enjoy the diverse voices, stories and layouts.

 

What are your favourite sections?

KS: ‘Members’ Insights’ and ‘Staff Profiles.’ In the former, we set out to showcase the talents and experience of various members. There are so many interesting FCC members that it’s hard to narrow it down sometimes.

We hope the short interview in the ‘Staff Profiles’ section not only helps you put a face to a name but also celebrates the many people who make the FCC feel like home.

I also love our expanded food and beverage coverage, since the FCC is home to exceptional bars and restaurants – each with an atmospheric setting. In this section, towards the front of the magazine, you’ll find high-quality, appetising photography, a round-up of upcoming dining promotions, wine-pairing inspiration, recipes and interviews.

As a magazine about journalism, we naturally put a lot of time and effort into our feature articles. We explore industry trends, expert insights, press freedom concerns, lifestyle issues, meaningful historic moments, and dispatches from around the region to create relevant, engaging content for FCC members.

 

Where can The Correspondent be enjoyed online?

KS: You can enjoy an improved reading experience on the FCC’s newly redesigned website (fcchk.org/news/the-correspondent) or head over to ISSUU to read a digital version of the magazine (issuu.com/fcchk). Thanks for reading!

Should you wish to share story ideas or feedback with The Correspondent, please contact: [email protected].

 


Social Media: Follow & Share

As a club of conversations, we have invested a lot of energy in growing our online presence via key social media channels this year. Join the discussion on your favourite platforms:

Facebook

Likes: 10,126*
Followers: 11,400
Follow Us: The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong?
Tag Us: @fcchk.org

 

Instagram

Followers: 1,238*
Follow Us: @fcchkfcc
Tag Us: @fcchkfcc
Tag Your photos: #fcchk

 

Twitter

Followers: 18,800*
Follow Us: @fcchk
Tag Us: @fcchk

 

LinkedIn

Followers: 945*
Add Us: FCC Hong Kong

 

YouTube

Subscribers: 7,210*
Total Views: 1.3 million
Find Us: FCC HK

*Numbers correct as of 18 June 2021

 


COMING SOON: THE FCC PODCAST

Stay Tuned… we have a podcast in the works

Over the years, the FCC has hosted an array of diverse, topical and inspirational speakers from all over the globe and our aim is to archive these in our very own podcast.

Please reach out if you are keen to get involved in the Communications Committee and help bring this podcast to life.

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