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Member Onboarding

Founding an independent journalism group presented challenges & posed problems. I built a unique onboarding process & tools to address them.


The indie journalism group I founded was an amateur group — an unincorporated collective. But we conducted business professionally. Being new and small, it was all-the-more important to maximize efficiency and avoid wasting time.

I developed tailored business processes in areas such as membership management, group affairs, production scheduling & publishing.

ROLE(S): Producer

Google Hangouts
Adobe InDesign
Adobe Animate

The Problem

Managing a loose affiliation of stubborn and determined reporters is like herding cats. Nearly every area of the organization presented challenges. Deciding who could join our ranks, and how was particularly challenging.

Who would want to work without compensation or benefits?

Who could be trusted not to leak internal communications?

Who's a talented investigator or journalist?

The Solution

The solution began with a clearly defined membership process and workflow. Here's a brief animatic overview that illustrates the nomination portion of the onboarding process.

Onboarding: Nomination

Onboarding: Prospect Questionnaire

When considering new members, factors such as their skill-sets and commitment to the work were key to our deliberation. Not to mention the value of that information when assigning duties and responsibilities. Here's a PDF form that I designed to capture that very specific information.

Onboarding: Associate Credentials

Once membership is established, new members are given login credentials to the member portal. That's the private site where members can communicate, share documents and perform a variety of functions. I'm most proud of the automated features, such as the press pass generator and business card generator.

Press Pass Generator

Press Page Generator

Unknown to most Americans, each citizen is automatically a member of the press. Regardless, having press credentials can help to establish your purpose and speed things up overall.

The associate member portal was built on the Wordpress platform. Through some custom php and Javascript, I built a system that took information submitted by the member and output a print-ready press pass image.

Press Pass Features

Press Pass Sample
  • Double-sized
  • A large 5" x 6" format and high contrast for easy visibility.
  • Security features built into the member image.
  • Link to public web page form to verify membership.
  • Bar code containing member ID.

Business Card Generator

Business Card Sample

Like the pass pass, print-ready business cards are also auto-generated that can be taken to a local printer or uploaded for printing with an online printing provider.