Case Study

The New SEIU 105

Organized labor is more relevant than ever during this time of rising economic inequality, gross exploitation of working people, and rapacious corporatism. Labor’s digital presence and program must rise to meet these significant challenges, and SEIU 105 was no exception.

SEIU 105 is one of the fastest growing labor unions in the west, with a 50% increase in membership in just a few years. Their recent battle with Kaiser Permanente alongside allied unions, which nearly led to one of the largest worker strikes in decades, led to significant wage and health insurance victories from medical assistants to frontline administrative staff. SEIU 105’s advocacy for raising the minimum wage has led to $15 per hour wages for all workers in Denver and at the Denver Airport.

Tallacala Digital was proud to work with SEIU 105 in producing an updated brand and website that far better served the union’s members and fit the hard charging spirit of a union helping to put the fight back in the labor movement.

The original SEIU 105 website was outdated and mostly unworkable on mobile devices.

The Challenge

SEIU 105 had an older website that was using an outdated WordPress template and code base. The site’s design pre-dated responsive and mobile first templates and therefore the site structure did not adapt to phones or tablets. For most of SEIU 105’s membership, who like the vast majority of internet users mostly interact with websites over mobile devices, this made the website clunky and unusable.

In addition, the old website did not offer any bilingual option to the significant number of SEIU 105’s membership that speaks Spanish.

The content on the site was not organized or filtered in any significant way, making it difficult for members to find relevant information to their department or employer.

Finally, the old website lacked important features like SEO and analytics, making it difficult to spread relevant content and measure results.

Modernizing The SEIU 105 Brand

The first step in building a new digital presence for SEIU 105 was modernizing the union’s brand.

By using the standard brand colors of dark purple and golden yellow we maintained the brand continuity of the SEIU family while bringing in a modern typeface to better reflect the new and bold energy animating SEIU 105.

We also removed the old Denver skyline present in the old logo to reflect the fact SEIU 105’s membership has long expanded beyond Denver and now includes multiple western states.

Developing a Member Focused Website

The focus of the new SEIU 105 website is its members. The site prominently features the incredible photography of 105’s members in action: fighting for better workplaces and communities for janitorial, health care, and airport workers. 

In addition, the site purposely makes each department (property services, health care, and airport) easy to find and access, and sorts content into these relevant department pages. Each department page also features easy ways to access contract and steward information. The site is also mobile friendly and makes content easily accessible to members looking for information on their phones or tablets.

A brand new action hub also will be providing multiple ways for members to make an impact in state legislatures, Congress, in their community, and in elections.

Finally, we worked closely with SEIU 105 staff to provide a bilingual option for members to access most content on the site in Spanish.

Final Thoughts: Meeting Labor’s Digital Challenge

Unions are more popular than they’ve been in 50 years, according to Gallup. It’s no surprise in this era of constant economic pressure and anxiety propelled by income inequality, stagnant wages, and unreliable benefits, workers are looking for leadership and representation from strong labor unions.

It’s younger workers in particular who are driving the relevance and desire for workplace representation according to polling. While having a strong digital presence is important for all age groups, the fact that younger workers are looking to labor means that local unions simply must have a strong and relevant digital program.

Far too many unions simply aren’t ready to meet workers in the digital spaces they spend an increasing amount of their time in. Websites are woefully outdated, not mobile friendly or multilingual, and not part of a wider digital program. To better reach existing members in addition to workers looking to organize, local labor unions must modernize their digital program: their website, social media, email, and advertising components.

We were proud to help SEIU 105 develop an updated digital program with a modernized brand and website. As labor takes on the challenges of the modern economy, we look forward to helping more local unions build smart and relevant digital programs that build power for working people across the country.

“Our union had a strong ally in Ray and Tallacala Digital when we set out to build a modern, mobile forward, bilingual, and user-friendly website that met the needs of our diverse membership. Working with Ray was a breeze. Bringing digital campaign expertise and knowledge of organized labor to the project, Tallacala Digital created a platform for SEIU Local 105 members to build upon on our organizing victories and run more effective campaigns in the future.”

David Fernandez
Communications Director, SEIU 105

Let’s talk about your digital needs

Tallacala Digital is committed to progressive values and believes that our society works best when it works for everyone, not just an elite few. We therefore work primarily with progressive political campaigns, labor unions, and advocacy organizations.

We’re also committed to quality work and fair labor standards and practices. Tallacala Digital will never be the cheapest digital firm.

If you’re ready to get started in building an effective digital program and think we would be a good fit for you, fill out the form here and provide us with some information about your digital needs. We’ll be in touch with you in 1-2 business days.

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