A Guide to the Brand Partner Portal Week 3 – The Website Integration Function

Week 3 of our six-part series “Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About the Brand Partner Portal” takes us through the Website Integration function.

Welcome to Week Three of the Brand Partner Portal (BPP) overview! Last week we wrote to you about the I&A Integration function. If you missed it, you can click here to view all the articles in this series so far.  This week, we’re looking at the Website Integration function – we recommend sharing this article with the staff member at your organisation who manages your website.

Website Integration is the BPP function that will make your organisation’s Services & Shops (and shortly Events & Activities) searchable for the 2 million monthly viewers of the Age UK website. This function will increase traffic to local websites by increasing visibility of local service/shop/event offerings to visitors on the national website. It will also allow users to filter results on your own site so they can more easily find what they are looking for.

Changes to the way your website works

In order to achieve this searchability, we need to make some changes to the way you upload content to your website. Currently, websites are created and managed through Episerver – a Content Management System (CMS). However, in order to allow your services/shops/events to be searchable through the national site and to be filtered on your own site, we need to restructure the way this information is input into your websites.

This will happen through a process known as content rationalisation and migration.

What is Content Rationalisation and Migration?

This is a lot easier than it sounds! We’ve created some dedicated templates for partners to use for uploading Services/Shops/Events to their websites. In the first instance, we’ll be asking you to simply move your existing Services/Shops/Events website info into these templates. Once this is complete, we will be supporting you to then replace your existing Services/Shops/Events pages with these new portal pages.

This exercise is a one-off. Once you’ve moved the existing content, adding and updating Services/Shops/Events will simply happen as usual except this time, you’ll be inputting this new information into the portal templates instead of into the CMS.

We will be guiding you through this process to make the transition as smooth as possible – you can find out more about this in the next section.

The new portal pages will still be found under the same navigation bar you currently have on your websites (see below).

Once your Services/Events/Shops information is migrated to the new templates, not only will the information be searchable through the national website, it will also be searchable on your own site. Users will be able to filter results to find exactly the Service/Event/Shop they are looking for.

See below for an example of what this will look like. In the example, we have filtered the results to only show us Day Care Centre Services.

Guiding you through the process

The initial migration of existing content to the new portal templates is underway. We’re running a series of 6 “Sprints” to help partners through this process.

Sprints are blocks of time in which we help partners to upload their Services and Shops content into the BPP. Some of you have already been part of our Website Integration sprints and we are currently in Sprint 3. We’ve been working hard to streamline this process for partners and our current sprint is running like clockwork.

For those brand partners who have not yet joined a Website Integration sprint, this is what you can expect:

1. Overview webinar – A couple of weeks before the sprint begins, we’ll run an overview webinar for your teams to give them an idea of what to expect and how they can prepare for the sprint.

2. Kick-off workshop – This is when we go over the nuts and bolts of the website integration process with the brand partners’ lead person. This is usually your website lead or marketing person.

3. 1 to 1 Meetings – Our team holds 1 to 1 meetings with each brand partner on the sprint to go over the details of the portal templates and to support you with any questions you might have. These happen in the first two weeks of the sprint.

4. Weekly drop-ins – we also hold a weekly drop-in session with our team. This is where you can come along to ask us any questions that may come up while you are adding your content to the portal. Though each session has a subject theme, we also encourage partners to treat it as an open forum for questions/suggestions/discussion.

5. Content deadline – the sprints give partners about 2 months to complete their content entry.

6. Content checking – once the content has been submitted, our team will check it and discuss any necessary amendments with you.

7. Integration Meeting – once we’re sure that all the content is sound we’ll schedule you in for a website integration meeting where we integrate your portal pages with your website and make it public-facing.

Our final two sprints are Sprint 5 (starting Jan 2023) and Sprint 6 (starting May 2023).

If you are not yet signed up to a sprint, please get in touch with us at portalaccess@ageuk.org.uk. We currently have space available on Sprints 5 and 6.

Progress so far

  • 7 brand partners have completed the process and the portal pages for their Services and Shops are integrated with their website
  • 25 brand partners are going through their integration meetings now and their new content will shortly be public-facing.
  • 19 brand partners are taking part in Sprint 3
  • 25 brand partners are signed up for Sprint 4 (Sept-Dec 22)

Our final two sprints are Sprint 5 (starting Jan 2023) and Sprint 6 (starting May 2023).

If you are not yet signed up to a sprint, please get in touch with us at portalaccess@ageuk.org.uk. We currently have space available on Sprints 5 and 6.

Live Demonstration

We will be running a live demonstration of a website integration at our drop-in session on Wednesday the 1st of June from 10.30-11.30. Age UK Cheshire have kindly agreed to take part in this demonstration, so that other partners can see what this part of the process looks like. If you are interested in joining us, please email portalaccess@ageuk.org.uk and we’ll forward you the invite.

How to find the Website Integration function on the BPP

Once you’ve booked onto a Sprint and completed the process, this is where you will manage any new Services/Shops/Events going forward.

Brand partners can login to the portal (as described in the Introduction to this series) and choose the tile called My Portal (see below outlined in red).

From here, you will be taken to another page with a number of options for entering content into your portal pages:

We’ll discuss the tile called Our Organisation Info next time. But the other five tiles in this view are where you will manage your portal content.

We have developed portal driven templates for you to use for your organisation’s Services and Shops content. (NB- The Events/Activities templates and functionality are still in development.)  The templates are straightforward to use. You can see a clipped example of the template to enter a new service into the portal below:

The content in these templates live inside the portal and the data is searchable by the national website’s local directory.* This means that when someone comes to the Age UK website looking for services/shops/events in their area, the results they receive will be for the brand partner nearest to them.

When the user clicks on those results, they are seamlessly transitioned to the brand partner’s website. The user is not aware that they’ve moved from the national to the local website so the experience feels consistent for them. The new templates will also allow users to filter results on your Services/Shops/Events pages.

* The local directory feature has not yet been switched on. We are waiting for enough partner websites to be integrated to ensure that users have a good experience with the results coming back for their search. We anticipate this will be late summer/early autumn.

Until next time!

If you have any questions about a particular BPP function mentioned above and would like to explore how this can help your organisation, please feel free to get in touch via email on portalaccess@ageuk.org.uk.

Thanks for sticking with us during this series. Next week we’re taking a break due to the shortened bank holiday week, but we’ll be back the week commencing 6th June to look at the Organisation Info function. See you then!

Best wishes,

Alisa Yingling
Programme Manager

Brand Partner Portal
Age UK

Brand Partner Portal update: A summary of the 3 webinars and a reminder to sign up for the rollout

This Brand Partner Portal update gives a summary of our three recently held webinars, along with their recordings, and explains how you can prepare for the upcoming rollout.

We recently held 3 comprehensive webinars for Age UK Partners to find out how you will use the Brand Partner Portal, how it integrates into your websites, and what you need to do in preparing for your upcoming rollout. If you haven’t already, we encourage you to request your login details and sign up to your preferred rollout window. Read on to see what we covered in each webinar, watch the recordings, and find out how you can sign up to your preferred rollout window.

First Webinar – Introduction to the Brand Partner Portal

In this first webinar, the team demonstrated the portal, talked you through each stage of the onboarding process and the individual website deployments across the network.

What was covered?
  • Introduction
  • Current Status of the websites
  • The Tool – Brand Partner Portal
  • Outcome – Integrated websites
  • Rollout process
  • Next steps
  • Resources and support available
  • Q&A

Second Webinar – The Step-by-Step Journey of Using the Portal

At the second webinar, we refreshed on the first webinar and the integration of your current website with the portal, demonstrated the journey of using the portal, and allowed ample time for questions which were all answered before conclusion.

What was covered?
  • Introduction
  • Step-by-step journey for information entry
  • Other Portal areas
    1. I&A Integration
    2. Quality Assurance Framework
  • Q&A

Third Webinar – Rationalising your Data ready for the Portal

At the recent third and final webinar before the rollout, we focused on providing you with all the resources and information for your deployment process. There was an outline and introduction to all the teams you will work with at each part of the deployment process.

What was covered?
  • Introduction 
  • Process
    • Portal Access (User Logins & Sprint Window Selection)
    • Content (Content Check, Amendments & Sign-off)
    • Website (Portal/ Website Integration – Live)
  • Resources
  • Next Steps
  • Q&A

What to do now

To get your Brand Partner Portal access, please email portalaccess@ageuk.org.uk to get a log in and sign up to one of the 4 Sprint windows for the Portal (below).

These 4 rollout windows will run:
  • September 2021 – October 2021
  • December 2021 – January 2022
  • March 2022 – April 2022
  • June 2022 – July 2022

Guides and Resources

The Digital Hub is the home for all the guidance and information on using the portal and website, we will continue updating it to make it relevant to your needs.

Reminder: Brand Partner Portal webinar 6 July – Book your place now!

Book your place at the upcoming Brand Partner Portal webinars to talk through all the things you need to know leading up to the Brand Partner Portal rollout over the coming months.

Following on from our post last week, this is a quick reminder to please join our upcoming webinars to find out how you will use the Brand Partner Portal, how it will integrate into your local partner websites, and what you need to do next. The webinars will be held 10:00-11:30am on 6th July, 27th July, and 17th August. Click here to book your place on the 6th July webinar.

Agendas and details on how to join the 27th July and 17th August webinars will also be shared on the Network Infrastructure hub and in the daily update emails soon. These webinars will be especially important for any members of staff who manage your organisation’s website.

“Quick Quarantine Games” Website

Find out about Quick Quarantine Games, a website that allows users to play free board games together from a distance.

We were recently contacted by Alisha, a university student who has created a website that allows users to play free board games together from a distance. Alisha created the site after adapting several popular board games so that she could play them with her grandma while they were separated during lockdown. Alisha asked us to pass this website on to you in case you wished to share it with your networks. This isn’t a resource that we are endorsing or were involved in creating but we wanted to draw your attention to it in case it proves useful. Find out all the details below.

Back during the first wave of Covid-19, Alisha adapted some traditional board games (such as Snakes & Ladders, Connect Four, Battleships, etc.) to play with her grandma, who lives alone and was struggling with the isolation during lockdown. Alisha’s grandma doesn’t have internet, so she adapted the boards to enable them to play with each other from afar. She really enjoyed playing them and said they gave her something to look forward to in her week. 

This inspired Alisha to find a way to make these board games accessible to other people in a similar situation, by designing a website called Quick Quarantine Games (www.quickquarantinegames.com). All the board games are completely free to download and print out, can be played over the phone (with or without a video camera), and come with instructions on how to play without being able to see each other. The Boards have been adapted so that each player can use their own board, but can easily describe to the other players (on the other end of the phone or video call) where they have landed on the board etc. The games only require a few extra items, such as dice and playing counters, but many can be played with just a pen or pencil.

Think Digital webpage and Phase 1 executive summary now live

The Think Digital Programme now has a dedicated webpage on the Age UK website with infographics, testimonials, and executive summary and more!

Funded by Santander, the Think Digital Programme was set up in 2020 to engage, inspire, and support people aged 50 and over to develop their digital skills. Age UK have been working with five local Age UK and Age Cymru partners (Age Cymru Dyfed, Age Cymru Gwent, Age UK Blackburn with Darwen, Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland, and Age UK South Lakeland). Each partner recruited, trained and supported Digital Champions to raise awareness about the benefits of digital, and to provide 1:1 support to older people at risk of digital exclusion in their community.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the delivery model was redesigned to a mainly remote model, which led to some great learnings! Please check out the brand new Think Digital webpage on the Age UK website – which includes detail on the project, infographics, testimonials, and the Phase 1 report and executive summary available at the bottom of the page.

Brand Partner Websites Update & Maintenance – 7.30pm Tonight

Brand Partners will be unable to make edits to their websites between 7pm-8pm tonight (16 March) while the latest updates are installed.

The latest updates for Age UK Brand Partner websites will take place tonight (16 March) at 7.30pm. This maintenance will see a general upgrade to the Content Management System (CMS) as well as a number of fixes. All Brand Partner sites will be affected, so staff who manage the website for your organisation will not be able to access the CMS between 7pm and 8pm tonight. You shouldn’t see any major change to your site and there is minimal downtime expected. Our Network Digital Team have also sent this information to their mailing lists, so staff members who manage your website should be aware of this maintenance.

Webinar: Unpublishing & updating content, redirects and broken links

The Digital and Technology Team are hosting a webinar on unpublishing & updating content, and redirecting URLS to avoid broken links for your audience.

As services change during the pandemic, you may want to update, remove or redirect website pages to give the best experience and information to your beneficiaries and service users. Join the Digital and Technology team on Wednesday 12 August 2020 at 11am to find the best practise to unpublishing & updating content, and redirecting  URLS to avoid broken links for your audience. There will be plenty of time for specific questions and general Q&A. The session will be filmed and shared afterwards for those who can’t attend on the day.

Click on the link below at 11am or add it to your calendar by clicking here.

Please join the webinar via this link.

Join the webinar by phone

If you have no mic or speakers on your computer you can also call the number below to listen and speak, but please mute your phone:

  • +44 20 3321 5192 
  • United Kingdom, London (Toll)
  • Conference ID: 831 764 555#

Guidance on joining a Teams Webinar can be found here.

Zurich offer digital training webinar to Age UK network

Zurich wish to support the Age UK network by organising a digital training webinar. Find out how you can submit your questions and access two online training videos for using Microsoft Teams.

Zurich have a team of specialists who have spent many years in Digital Marketing and Digital Experience. They want to support the local Age UK network by organising a digital training webinar. If you are interested in taking part, please complete the ‘Zurich Training Survey’ by 26th June outlining the questions you most want answered.

This webinar (date/time TBC) will take a Q&A format offering some practical answers and tips around: 

  • Digital customer experience including web user experience design and build 
  • How your customers find you – such as optimising for Google search  
  • Monitoring and analysing your Digital Analytics and how to optimise and improve   
  • Managing agencies  

Interested in joining this webinar? We’re asking for you to submit any questions you have on this topic to be submitted in advance so we can make this as useful and relevant for you as possible! Note that no personal data will be shared with Zurich, the responses will be submitted to a member of the Age UK team. 

Please submit your questions through the ‘Zurich Training Survey’ by the Friday 26th June.  

Zurich – Microsoft Teams Training Videos  

Zurich have also shared two online training videos for Microsoft Teams.  

The first video provides ‘An overview of using Microsoft Teams and its functionality’, including creating channels, editing posts, creating notifications, sharing files, using the ‘planner’ and chat functions. This video is 30 minutes (note that the video starts at 13 mins 10 secs) 

The second video provides more specific information on ‘Creating a Team’ including the basics of creating a team, adding members, restricting access and administrator roles. This video is 13 minutes. 

Watched these videos and want more training like this or training covering other O365 programmes?  

If you watch these videos please let us know in the Zurich Training Survey. This will help us and Zurich get a good understanding if these types of videos were helpful. 

If you feel you would benefit from further MS Teams training or other Office 365 application training please let us know by completing the Zurich Training Survey. For example, setting up a meeting on Teams Calendar, using Microsoft forms, Microsoft Excel. 

A reminder of available volunteer enquiry options

With volunteer enquiries on the up in recent weeks, here are two options that may help your team to handle new applications.

To support with managing the recent increase in volunteer enquiries, Age UK is offering two new functions. If you haven’t done so already, you can still opt for one or both of the following functions:

Corporate Volunteer Secondment Offers 

Numerous corporations are contacting Age UK to offer volunteer time from their staff who are being paid yet unable to work. Some of the businesses have employees with company vehicles or reference/DBS checks as part of their employment. 

We want to know if you’d like us to contact you if we receive an offer from a company with staff in your area. Completing this form does not mean you will be required to take up the offer, it simply means we will get in touch to let you know it is an option. 

Please complete this form to let us know if and when you’d like us to share these offers with you. 

Option to temporarily disable volunteer enquiries through Age UK website 

Many local Age UKs are working at maximum capacity and may not, at this time, be able to process new volunteers. To support with this, we are adapting the system to provide you the opportunity to “turn off” the volunteer enquiry function for your organisation on the Age UK website. 

If you opt to disable enquiries, volunteers in your area who enquire will be sent a warm response that encourages them to take up the Age UK Neighbourly Volunteering offer. If, later, you decide you would like to contact the prospective volunteer, we will be able to share their details with you then. 

We will provide this option for at least 3 more weeks and this may be extended should it be most helpful to your organisation. You can also re-enable these enquiries at any time by emailing: anna.croghan@ageuk.org.uk  

To temporarily disable volunteer enquiries from the Age UK website to your organisation, please submit your organisation name here. 

Option to temporarily disable volunteer enquiries through Age UK website

With an increase in publicity expected in the coming days, find out how you can temporarily disable volunteer enquiries from the Age UK website.

Age UK is expecting a possibly significant increase in publicity from tomorrow, Thursday 23rd April and you will receive more information on this shortly.

Many local Age UKs are working at maximum capacity and may not, at this time, be able to process new volunteers that could enquire because of this publicity. To support with this, we are adapting the system to provide you the opportunity to temporarily “turn off” the volunteer enquiry function for your organisation.

If you opt to disable enquiries, volunteers in your area who enquire will be sent a warm response that encourages them to take up the Age UK Neighbourly Volunteering offer. If, later, you decide you would like to contact the prospective volunteer, we will be able to share their details with you then.

We will provide this option for a minimum of 1 week (when we anticipate the most publicity), and this can be extended should it be most helpful to your organisation.

To temporarily disable volunteer enquiries from the Age UK website to your organisation, please submit your organisation name here.