Web sites have become an important part of any campaign. They're more than just a place for candidates to post issue stances and take donations - they've also become the twenty-first century press kit.
It's become common practice for reporters and the media to visit a candidate's web site for information on their positions, high resolution photos, biography information, and more.
Web sites have also increased in popularity as a place voters go to learn more about candidates for a race. When promoted in hand outs at events, flyers left at the doortstep, in commercials, and the like, voters are much more likely to visit that web site than they were just a few years ago. Where web sites for campaigns used to be just a place for people who already support a candidate or issue to visit, they've now become a cost-effective way to reach potential voters.
A site for your campaign or organization can serve multiple purposes, unlike more traditional methods like mailers and commercials.
What can a web site accomplish for your campaign or organization?
First, they help to inform. Instead of just a few paragraphs or bullet points on a mailer, or 10 seconds on a commercial, you can add as much content as you'd like. This allows you to not only give a lengthy biography with accomplishments, but also detailed information on policies, issues, and stances. You can link directly to bills, legislation, etc. that relates to the issue at hand. You can also record short videos with the candidate, well known supporters on an issue, and the like, which work well with undecided voters. It also allows more information than a 20 or 30 second commercial. You can also have email newsletter sign ups, which allow you to collect addresses that are then sent regular updates.
Second, they are a great way to let your supporters know what they can do and how they can get involved. You can list upcoming events, take sign-ups for house parties and coffees, collect volunteer interest information so you can match people's likes with your campaign's needs, and more. Supporters will visit your site often and interact with it - if you give them the opportunity. Doing so increases the participation level of your supporters and makes them feel they are an important part of your campaign or organization. It's important to have a good calendar where supporters and undecided voters can come out and see the candidate when he's in town. It's also allows voters to see that the candidate has visited a wide variety of locations, showing she is interested in hearing from all her potential constituents.
Third, they serve as a quick and easy way to handle donations. Online donation systems collect all the information and handle the payment processing, giving your supporters an easy way to make a monetary donation. They can even sign up for recurring donations, such as $10 a month. This allows donors to feel secure in their donation, as they input their information on a secure web site and no one ever sees their credit card number. A great way to ensure pledges turn into donations is to bring a laptop with a mobile internet connection to campaign events and activities and have people donate online as opposed to taking a remit envelope that may never be returned.
And last, web sites give you a way to hear back from supporters, undecided voters, and more. Email forms can be set up that allow you to receive emails from site visitors without opening your address to spam. Polls give people a way to give their opinion on a set topic. Commenting on blog posts give site visitors the option to sound off on their thoughts. When leaving literature on a doorstep of a voter not at home, you can leave a personal message on the lit asking them to visit your web site and contact the campaign regarding any questions, concerns, etc. they may have. During this past election season, a number of campaigns saw an increase in emails and phone calls coming into their office when they listed such information on a note on the literature. There have also been upticks in the number of visits to the campaign web site after a canvass.
Web sites are the only way to hit on so many aspects of a campaign, making them an extremely cost-effective way to reach out to voters.
Our web sites are set up using a Content Management System (CMS), which allows editing and updating your site easy as using a word processor like MS Word. We create a wrapper, called a theme, which sets the colors, fonts, layout, etc. of your site. This then controls the look of you page, which can easily be swapped out as your campaign's branding evolves.
Using the CMS, you can easily make updates to text, add blog entries, put events on your calendar, and more while not having to handle any of the technical side of running a web site. We do all the updates to the site's software, modifications to the setup of the site, etc., allowing you to focus on your campaign or organization.
Blogs and Blog Ads
Posting on blogs can be a great way to build your name recognition and build support for your issues. The people reading these blogs tend to be those who are active in politics and their community. They are also ones who are likely to be a resource to coworkers, friends, and family on issues and politics.
We can help you to put together postings for popular blogs that will get people around the blogosphere talking. Once the posting is up, we can assist in monitoring the post for comments and questions that need a response from the campaign or organization. We can also help set up "live blogging" where the candidate is available online for a set period of time to discuss an issue, answer questions, and more.
Netiquette is also an important issue when it comes to posting online. We can assist you in best practices for the web, including how not to look stupid, not leave yourself open for needless attacks, and ensure your posting is well proof read before it goes live.
Our staff can also assist in purchasing blog ads. These ads can be cheap and get a lot of views from people visiting the blog(s). They can also be targeted to the topic(s) the blog covers so that people are more likely to click on the ad.
Web hosting, domains and more
We can also host your site, purchase domain names and SSL certificates (needed for secure donation processing), and more, taking all the worries about managing your web needs off your hands.
For more information