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The Center for Rural Development launches a new website featuring new branding.

The Center for Rural Development has launched its new WordPress-based website, The redesigned site, created through an extensive in-house collaboration between The Center’s marketing and public relations and web development teams, exemplifies The Center’s vision for continuing to adapt to seek new ways to communicate with the world and serve the residents of Southern and Eastern Kentucky and beyond.
The new offers:

  • several new options to view the wealth of news content on The Center’s programs and services
  • extensive video content on events and initiatives at The Center
  • immediate access to The Center’s fan pages on top social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube
  • increased site-wide search capabilities and advanced signup options for email blasts and eNewsletters
  • clickable access to websites of The Center’s community partners and affiliate organizations
  • an interactive “Impact Map” illustrating The Center’s county-by-county impact its programs and services have made in its 42-county primary service area

“As we entered 2011—The Center’s 15th-anniversary year—we considered it critical to bring our website up to speed with today’s top web technology,” Lonnie Lawson, president and CEO of The Center, said. “We are very proud of how we change people’s lives across our 42-county primary service area in Southern and Eastern Kentucky and across the state and nation, and the new helps us reach out to our residents and clients in great new ways.”

The new homepage hinges heavily upon The Center’s bold new four-color branding strategy that visually organizes all programs and services into the appropriate Focus Areas of Public Safety (green), Arts & Culture (purple), Leadership (red), and Technology (blue). Content focuses on The Center’s ongoing mission to provide leadership that stimulates innovative and sustainable economic development solutions and a better way of life for the citizens it serves.

The organization’s new branding, including an updated Center logo featuring its trademark window and rays of light, has already earned The Center three prestigious ADDY Awards from the American Advertising Federation’s Lexington, Ky. Advertising Club.

Michael Cornett, director of marketing and public relations for The Center, said the new is perhaps the most important step in transitioning the organization’s public presence into its streamlined new branding strategy.

“From pens all the way to packets of printed brochures, extensive promotional videos, and television commercials, we feature on everything we create,” Cornett said. “Aside from the immediacy of our Facebook and Twitter fan pages, our website is our primary way of communicating with the online world.

“With a website that now falls directly in line with our new branding efforts, our online friends and viewers will be able to engage with our content and interact with us in a way that they’ve never been able to before,” he added.

Through months of work, Cornett and Communications Specialist Sharon Dodson created the full site’s reworked content, and Web Developers Wes Brown, Gretchen Wheeler and Michael Wheeler physically coded and created the new website.

“We have extremely talented and capable staff members here at The Center, and it was a pleasure to launch and run this project completely within the organization,” Lawson said. “The end result is a revamped website that moves The Center into new online territory and among the some of the best websites created for and by other nonprofit organizations.”