Written by Eric Gockel
We’ve worked with many organizations and associations that have gone through staff turnover, or a new board every year. The first few days (or weeks) can be daunting for the new team members who are trying to find their way around all the communication channels and project management systems.
The best place to start is with existing staff or board members who have been part of the process in the last year that can help new team members with the usual questions like what’s the website login, or who has the PO box key?
Try documenting your processes and various logins in a common place for your department or association. This could be in a wiki, a Basecamp account, or whatever creates the least friction for your team/board/family.
Create a checklist of every service that has a login and make sure that someone on your team has access and keep it current. For associations with new board members and chairs every year, try using role-based emails like email@example.com instead of personal or work emails, as people leave boards and companies, making it difficult to reset passwords and gain access to accounts.
For example, if you lose your login to your GoDaddy account and don’t have access to the email that set it up, you’ll have to go thru many hoops to regain access including faxing over articles of incorporation and the like. You should check now, I’ll wait.
If your website has an e-commerce component for purchases, who has logins for the payment systems like authorize.net or Stripe? If you’re still using the login that your treasurer or controller from two years ago set up, you should get that updated ASAP while you still (hopefully) can contact them and they still have access to their old work email used to set up the logins.
CMS and Website Updates
Ideally, the person moving on should sit with the new team member and walk through making basic website updates and the like. Do they have the contact info for the last firm that set up (or is managing) the website? Are backups being made regularly?
This might be a good time to schedule an intro call with the firm tasked with managing your website to introduce the new team contact to the vendor/agency, as well as discuss any updates or issues to address in the coming year.
Be sure to update your website agency with whom the latest key internal stakeholders are as well as their day-to-day contact(s).
Even though you have a firm managing your website, you should still have logins for everything. This includes your website domain, website hosting, FTP (for files), analytics (i.e. Google), email administration and any other third party tools you may use like Mailchimp for email marketing.
Make sure the logins are up to date, and you have access to all the emails used for the various logins in the event you need to reset any passwords, which you should do on a regular basis (i.e. at least yearly).
Social Media and Email Marketing
This is another item that sometimes falls thru the cracks if no one is really tasked with overseeing, and someone just “fills in” occasionally.
The social media accounts should also probably have role-based email/accounts if you have rotating staff/volunteers. Passwords on ALL accounts should be changed at this time as well, if not more often. Who responds to emails, Facebook and Twitter posts? Document and enforce.
Communicate and Over Communicate
We try to make a practice of always at least communicating with two contacts at a client, not just one, so there’s some redundancy and more than one person is in the loop. Granted, with larger clients, we’re probably emailing six or more contacts in various roles, but for smaller companies, getting the other partner(s) involved can’t hurt either.
Whenever clients ask how to do something or what the login is for a project, we try to point them to a repository where we keep that information for them so they can refer to it in the future. If they need it later, it’ll be there for them, as well as anyone else assuming their role later.
If you made it this far and you’re just looking for help on what the login URL might be for your website’s CMS, you can try one of these popular variations: