Core Elements of A Dark Website

Benefits of Creating a Site

Dark website for union organizing

Dark website for union organizing


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  • Employees Can Review It at Home - Employees who won’t look at company information at work are more likely to at home, where no one is looking over their shoulder.
  • Connect With Your “Secondary Audience” - Your site is a great way to reach family members, who can put a lot of pressure on the employee to “not screw things up.”

Your Content (What To Include)

  • A Memorable Domain - Choose a domain for your dark site that is based off your company's name. This will help the site to feel safe and familiar to your employees. For example:,,, etc.
  • Make The Site Friendly & Inviting - Include photos and incorporate your company's logo and branding.
  • Cover Your Demographics - If your company is, for example, largely hispanic, be sure to make a version of your site that is Spanish.
  • Ready To Launch - Build your site to 95% of completion before any sign of a campaign so that the site can be brought up to 100% and ready to launch within hours if necessary.
  • Promote The Site - Communicate the URL of your site to employees and monitor your traffic to understand your page visits.
  • Public or Private - A simple username/password will prevent the public from accessing the site.
  • On the Home Page – Be transparent about the purpose of the site...and make it easy navigating to the most important areas of the site. State your philosophy.
  • Campaign Developments – Discuss letters and handouts. Explain Election Day.
  • Create an FAQ area – We’ve found that many employees go here first. Pre-populate with expected questions. Offer an online form that allows users to anonymously submit questions to you, which (of course) you can screen before answering. This can be one of the most powerful ways to let employees know you ARE listening.
  • Top 10 Reasons for Remaining Union Free - Make this relevant to your company and your situation.
  • Know Your Rights – Explain to employees that they have the right to fight for or AGAINST the union, consider adding video to this page to reinforce the concepts.
  • Importance of a Signature (card or online) - The anatomy of an authorization card, and what it means when you sign it. This is a great spot to include online video.
  • Remind Employees What They Have (benefits) – Sometimes when someone is promising more, it’s easy for employees to forget the great things they have now.
  • Be Factual – With all union information. Membership, Finances, Bargaining, Corruption, Constitution, Strikes, etc. Both International and local.

A Word About Monitoring

Of course, we don’t want to track the activity of individual users of your website, but understanding trends and preferences can go a long way toward providing employees what they need to make an informed decision.

For instance, if your tracking shows that more employees are visiting your page on card-signing, it may be time to go a little deeper on that topic in your meetings. Notice that visitors are spending the most time on your “current news” page? That’s a sure sign we need to be updating it daily.

It's A Two-Way Street

Interact with employees on the site - provide a way for your employees to connect with management, through an anonymous online form. Allow them to ask questions, voice their opinion, and get a response from management.

Review all submissions prior to posting, and address concerns openly and honestly.

Bonus Round: Interactivity

Prepare your site to engage employees & family members!

Further the interactivity with an online dues calculator, that clearly demonstrates the power employees have to invest in their future instead of giving their money to a union. Add a strike calculator to open eyes to the fact that a strike rarely delivers what workers demand - and that it can take years to recover from even a short strike.

Add a Quiz that helps your employees understand the depth of their own knowledge about unions. With it, include a Glossary of “union terms” to help them educate themselves.

Additional Resources can include well-researched links to various union information found on the web. This has the added effect of third party endorsement, and social proof.

Dark website for union organizing

About the Author Jennifer Orechwa

With over 25 years in the industry, and now as IRI's Director of Business Development, Jennifer has gained a unique perspective on what it takes to build a culture of engagement. By blending a deep understanding of labor and employee relations with powerful digital marketing knowledge, Jennifer has helped thousands of companies achieve behavioral change at a cultural level.

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