Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

Lesson 9: Campaign and Organization Blogs

Posted by Adam Graham on April 22, 2007

Where blogs have not been used or used very poorly is in the area of political campaigns and by conservative organizations. Is it time for your candidate or organization to get started blogging? Let’s examine some key questions to ask.

1) What can you reasonably expect to get from having a blog?

This is the greatest question an organization must ask itself. Blogging is easy, building and maintaining a successful high quality blog takes work. If you don’t know what to expect from the blog, you won’t know if the actions you’re taking are going to hurt or help you in achieving your goal.

In addition, some candidates don’t need blogs. Out in Montana, you have 9-10,000 people per legislative district or therabouts. Good retail politicking will be more important that a blog, at least for the time being.

Also, the demographics of the area may make a blog impractical. If you represent an area with a majority Senior population or where Internet usage is low, it may not make sense to invest in the blog infrastructure right now. In a few years. maybe.

If your main reason for setting up a blog is to allow supporters to network, you would do much better to use a social networking site like MySpace or Shout Life

Some good reasons to have a blog:

1) Providing instant feedback on news stories and events.

2) Gaining search engine ranking for your stories.

3) Getting constituent feedback.

The main bad reason is because other people have been doing or you’ve heard about blogging. In this case, you’re investing in trend rather than a strategy for your organization.

2) Can you take care of a blog?

I knwo it sounds like I’m your mom talking to you about a puppy, but it really is the same thing. Blogs require care and feeding. They need:

a) Content
b) To be watched
c) have anti-spam issues dealt with.

This adds up to an appropriation of time, either by adding to workloads for existing staff or hiring someone else to do it. Either way, it’s a committment that needs to be made in order to sustain the blog.

3) Will you maximize your blog’s potential?

Most blogs never meet their full potential in terms of how it can be integrated to make an organization successful. Will you use it to its fullest to achieve ends like launching campaigns, serving as a hub for your candidate/organizations effort, and giving your cause a human touch? If not, why bother?

Important Points to Remember

1) Your blog is the face of your campaign.

This means that you want to use a professional template (on a hosted server) and you want to insure whoever writes your blog hasn’t said a lot of things that will detract from your efforts.

You can consider self-blogging when you’re running on a small budget. and/or the campaign is low profile.

2) You get what you pay for:

If you get someone to blog for you on a free/volunteer basis remember the old axiom that you get what you pay for. In small campaigns, this is okay, but if I’m running for Congress, I wouldn’t a volunteer blogger any more than I’d want a volunteer press secretary. Be willing to pay if you have the funds so you can get the best.

3) Find new ways to use the blog. This is absolutely key. If all you do is post text and more text and than even more text, with a few pictures mixed in, you’ve not really used it.

Find ways to make your blog profitable for your campaign or organizations. Donation buttons, stories of small donors, etc. are all great ways to give people hints on how to contribute.

Use charts, graphs, pictures, reports, and articles to bolster your case. Find new ways to network with supporters. You need to keep up on new technology and watch for new ways to achieve your goals. Committing to blogging means committing to a lifetime full of learning and gaining understanding.

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