When you’re in business for 5-10 years, it’s clear you’ve done a wonderful job serving your community. You easily bring in new clients, and old ones keep coming back.
Here’s where it gets tricky: the longer you’re in business, the longer you put important-but-not-urgent projects on the back burner — a website rebrand being one of them.
My former client, The Parris Foundation faced a similar challenge in 2021.
They’d been well-known in their community for over a decade. As a nonprofit, they had grown by leaps and bounds. However, their website wasn’t reflecting their work.
When B. Creative Co approached me to be part of this project, I knew how important it would be to get the story right. It’s one of resilience, strength, hope, and redemption of a disenfranchised community. And when the stakes for a story are that high, all you can do is give it the care it deserves.
Founded in 2008 by Dr. Katherine Bacon, The Parris Foundation is a nonprofit organization that extends crime-victim recovery and postsecondary education to disenfranchised communities. They do this in four ways: Counseling & Wellness, Educational Outreach, Scholarship Programs, and Training & Development for Professionals. It was founded in honor of Dr. Katherine Bacon’s son — Parris — who tragically lost his life to gun violence at 16 years old.
Because of their brave work and the mission behind it, they’re adored by the people of Houston and have been for years. Since they had been supporting their community for so long, they didn’t have much time to update their site over the years. That’s when I stepped in.
The Parris Foundation’s site served them well for many years. But eventually, the team felt like they had way outgrown their website. Readers flooded their inboxes with questions that could have been easily answered on the site. People, who were well-intentioned and eager to start, weren’t sure where to start. Katherine already knew her origin story was a draw for her audience. She wanted to make sure their website rebrand reflected her relationship with Parris and why he was so special.
With their varied offers, need to flesh out a brand story, and create a clear website customer journey, I knew The Parris Foundation would best benefit from full-service website copy and brand messaging. We spent the most time outlining her core offers, finding how they connected to her story, and creating a site map structure that clearly laid out both.
The Brand Messaging Guide was especially important. With a story like Parris’, it’s important to be sensitive, convicting, and empowering all at once. When you’ve done the work for so long, an outside perspective can see what you do with compassionate eyes and bring it to light in a way that gives it justice — without sparing crucial details.
We also wanted to make sure all marketing collateral moving forward (flyers, social posts, etc.) reflected the brand voice so they knew how The Parris Brand should communicate holistically.
Ultimately, Katherine and the team established several goals for their website rebrand, which were as follows:
When your business has a lot of offers, it’s easy for people to get confused and ask the question, “so what do you do?” That question will make readers leave your website and fast.
Right away, we wanted people to know exactly what type of programs The Parris Foundation offered. Even though they’re all different, they’re all uniquely connected to each other and equally important. First, we did this by creating clear messaging through a simple Homepage headline:
Next, on the Homepage, we made sure people knew exactly what programs they could engage in through The Parris Foundation. Listing out their services also established clear messaging because it cued the reader on where to go next.
And finally, we made sure each program had its own designated program page. We created sections on each page like, who this is for, how it works, and, how to get started so readers could easily take the right next step.
When you’re recruiting volunteers as a nonprofit organization, you want to make it super easy for someone to get involved on your site.
Now, The Parris Foundation has plenty of ways to get involved. That’s why for their website rebrand, we created an entire Get Involved Page.
The Get Involved Page helps The Parris Foundation recruit volunteers and decide where to jump in:
Your brand story is the essence of everything you do. But when a nonprofit brand story is based on a painful incident, that’s when it can get tricky.
For The Parris Foundation, by no means did we want to shy away from the cruel reality of what happened to Parris. It was unwarranted and disturbing. But we couldn’t stop there.
We pulled people in and through Parris’ story to see beauty on the other side. After some exploration, we realized how interwoven Katherine’s and Parris’ stories were. So we decided in the overall nonprofit brand story, it was best to highlight both together:
Once we established the crux of their nonprofit brand story, we also wanted The Parris Foundation team internally understand how to address Parris in marketing collateral moving forward.
The Brand Messaging Guide was extensive but here is just a snippet: Also huge props to B. Creative Co. because together, we visually branded their entire Brand Guide, which was all the better:
Here was the overwhelming response once her website rebrand was all said and done:
“We really appreciate all the work you and Kathy did. We absolutely love the outcome! SO EXCITED!!”
Ah, words like a warm, roaring fire to my soul.
This is an organization that loves deep and wide. They champion the resilience of individuals who strive to create a better reality for themselves, no matter who they are or where they come from, even 14 years in.
Working with them was a beautiful reminder that dark circumstances can be used to spread hope when it’s least expected.
Take cues from The Parris Foundation. Their experience can hopefully shed some light on what steps you can take toward your next website rebrand. Or you can read this blog post: 4 Signs to Rebrand Your Business and Website.
If communicating the depth of your story has been on your mind for a while, I’d be honored to help.
You can either check out the website copywriting and brand messaging process or directly get in touch so we can chat more.
Action-packed methods so your website can spark connections swiftly. Around the same time it takes to finish a leisurely afternoon stroll with a good friend — we should really do those more often.