The primary election season has come and gone in our neck of the woods. After a lengthy review of the results, the winners did a better job of communicating their message than the losers did. Candidates may utilize websites to interact with the public, but some used them to their advantage-not detriment. That’s the art of political websites.
So much has changed in campaigning in only a few years. Candidates are relying less on shoe leather and the postal service due to websites and social media. Because of this, candidates are becoming lazier and cheaper. It takes effort to raise funds in order to run an effective campaign and websites cost money, right? Not really.
An IT professional who knows how to react quickly and positively using electronic communication is essential. When a voter sees a statement in the press about a particular candidate, they know where to look for more information. If your tools are confusing or don’t provide what you want the public to see, you are allowing someone else to identify you and/or define your campaign. Too many times I’ve heard a losing candidate say, “I had to do everything in my campaign. From publicity to the website. I couldn’t afford to do otherwise.” That’s a common response from a loser. Voters want to vote for someone who mirrors them. When a voter looks into that electronic “mirror” they don’t want to see a mess.
If a political hopeful can’t bother to communicate effectively, do you really want them representing you? If they don’t think they can afford an effective IT or media person, then you’re being asked to vote for a flawed office hopeful. Candidates have to give themselves the best chance at victory. As a judge of political websites and media competition, I see the difference between professionally managed website and social media strategies and it’s whopping. Again, constituents are savvy in online communication. It’s sad to say, but the average first grader has more knowledge of the Internet than many candidates do. Every office hopeful, from the state to the local level, can hire a professional to manage their message at an affordable cost.
So, candidates-don’t fall for a boilermaker website sales pitch and think that’s the answer to your communication issues. Hire someone who knows what they are doing and stay out of their way. It’s the best money you will ever raise.