AARP seeks more consumer engagement with new website

WASHINGTON: AARP aims to better engage members with a new website, which unifies a number of its publications for adults 50 and older and encourages users to share information on social networking sites.

WASHINGTON: AARP aims to better engage members with a new website, which unifies a number of its publications for adults 50 and older and encourages users to share information on social networking sites.

The new website creates a single destination for the organization as well as its many titles, including AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. Previously, both publications had separate website addresses. “We were trying to deliver on each one of those property value propositions, but sometimes we were losing the ability to tell one AARP story,” said Nataki Clarke, VP of online marketing. “This brings it all together in one place.”

AARP also plans to boost its site content by establishing relationships with a number of partners. Frommer's Unlimited, for example, is providing content to the site's travel section.

The new site also aims to engage AARP's 276,000 online community by making it easier for them to move conversations onto their social networking sites. “We recognize that not everyone is on AARP.org, so we have a button that easily allows them to take the conversation with them to a Facebook page or Twitter account,” said Clarke.

AARP is pushing the site to consumer and business press by using the results of a survey the organization conducted as a news hook, says Elly Spinweber, senior manager of media relations at AARP. The survey found that more than a quarter of American adults 50 and older use social media websites, led by Facebook followed by MySpace, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

To help get members familiar with the site, AARP has also created an online game, called the Ultimate Trivia Sweepstakes. Answers to the trivia questions can be found on the AARP website.

“We wanted to capitalize on the interest of games, and our users really love trivia,” says Clarke.

In July, AARP also plans to optimize its site for handheld devices.

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