CrispAds Blog Ads

Thursday, June 07, 2007

What A Good Website Can Do

Expanding on yesterday's post on the need for DECs to have a website, today's post will discuss a few things that a good website can do.

Let People Know You Exist:
If you include your website on your press releases, logos, and on most of your materials - this will drive traffic. As word spreads, your website will become the first impression many people have of your DEC.

Voting Absentee: GOTV strategies are slowly losing relevance to GITV (Getting IN the Vote) strategies to get votes in the bank before election day in the form of absentee and early votes. A webform can do the trick of increasing absentee turnout nicely. Just have the results of the website emailed to your Supervisor of Elections. You'll obviously need to coordinate with your county SoE to see whether they allow requests to be emailed, and if they do, what is the correct email address to send the information. We did this in Marion County in 2006, and we had several dozen folks request their absentee ballots this way (including yours truly.)

Recruiting Volunteers: Having a webform for volunteers is another great resource to have. Make sure you get all the relevant contact information (particularly their email address), their interests, times they can work, and any special skills they have. Have the webform email results to your volunteer coordinator or the appropriate party official for quick personal follow up.

The ability to contribute online is a quick and easy way for the party to get the resources it needs. However, a slight warning: I've generally found that older folks, including those who surf the web often, don't trust giving online (fearing ID theft and the like.) Giving online is also very impersonal and distant - there isn't the instant "Thank You!" from a fellow warm body. So don't be surprised if your contributions page doesn't make you rich overnight. There are several ways to accept contributions online. The two most used I've seen is PayPal and Click and Pledge. If you're using the Drupal package, the somewhat complicated CiviCRM package is the best way to start accepting contributions.

Build A Strong Mailing List: A good mailing list will allow you to regularly communicate with your support base and keep them informed, drive traffic to your website, and organize more efficiently. With the Drupal package, in order to have an account to do much of anything, you have to give your email address. If you're not using the Drupal package, you can use what we use here at Reform Florida's DECs: Bravenet. I've also seen feedblitz used. I'm sure there are plenty others.

This is a good list of things a great website can help DECs do. There are others, but these are the core benefits.

Update: I should add I will be more than willing to help build or reconstruct your DEC's website. I'll work out a workable price.

No comments: