I recently watched a great video by Brett Bell and Mark Hardwick about the dismal use of digital in the Ontario Election. I particularly enjoyed the part about political email where they shared my opinion on the weakness of the call to action emails from the PC campaign. There were a number of problems, but I would […]
Blog posts from MP Host.ca
We have a message to get out to our voters. Eighty year ago we would have written a news release then sent it out by teletype for two daily newspaper editions and lots of radio stations. Thirty years ago we would have written a news release then sent it out by fax for morning newspapers, […]
The social media sites are constantly changing the best photo dimensions but we seem to be approaching a general rule of them of about a 2:1 aspect ratio. For Facebook it is a bit larger, Google+ a bit longer and Twitter is in between. You can easily build your own header for Twitter or pick […]
The post The Best Photo Sizes for Sharing on Twitter and Facebook appeared first on MP Host.ca.
Your Campaign’s Challenge You have a good candidate. She performs well in debates and interviews, convinces people at the door, the more people meet her the better she will do. You have a problem though. She will only get to so many doors, a few quotes in the local paper will only get you so […]
What is the first impression voters and supporters get when they find you on Twitter? Unless you want to convey light fluffy cartoon clouds you need to take a few minutes to update your Twitter Profile. I’ll try to save you a couple of those minutes with 3 simple tips to update your header, background, […]
The post 3 Simple Ways to Improve Your Political Brand on Twitter appeared first on MP Host.ca.
About that About Page The About page on your political website is one of the most important pages on your website. It has to be more than just a CV in paragraph format. With the amount of traffic the page gets, it is a critical voter-identification page. If you haven’t identified any voters with your […]
Do you share this pet peeve? I go a little nuts when I have to prepare a large mailing list and a bunch of the names all start in lower case. With the increase in online petitions and surveys the problem is only getting worse. Nothing says form letter like “Dear brendan”, but can you […]
[box size=”large” border=”full”]UPDATE: The WordPress development team has pulled the improved post format user interface from the next update, but the additional post formats will still be available in WordPress 3.6[/box]
With the 3.6 update for WordPress coming , it’s time I put to pixel an idea I have been developing, Political Post Formats.
If you’re not familiar with WordPress, this post may be lost on you; but, in the simplest terms, you’re reading a post right now. Your MP/MLA/MPP website likely uses the classic format of having a news page with a list of entries of news releases.
Currently, 95% of political websites use this classic model of being a basic “blog” of news releases. The videos go in a video section and the photo albums go in the photo album section.
The classic model seems entirely sensible until you examine the traffic data and reflect on the purpose of your website.
There are three key challenges with the classic model in a digital age:
- Hiding the message
- Using a non web format
- Duplicating work by working backwards
Hiding Your Message
After the Contact page and About page, the content most regularly being viewed is the Photo Gallery and Video Gallery; but, the content you want them to read is in your news releases. By sectioning off your written content from your visual content visitors are missing out.
If you are using WordPress in the classic political model, all your posts are using the standard post format.
By utilizing all the post formats you can locate all your political digital communications in one place. If you still want a distinct Video and Photo Gallery you just need a post format page template to display only those posts.
|Post Formats in 3.6:||Now, let’s politicize them:|
||Twitter sized update|
||Long Facebook Post / Short Email Update|
||Your Own YouTube Channel|
||Links like actionplan.gc.ca|
||Have you hear of Reddit?|
||“Our Senate, as it stands today, must either change or be abolished.”|
By using the different post formats you can bring all your content items into one stream on your website.
The Wrong Format
Putting all your content into one stream on the website should also encourage you to abandon the practice of putting “news releases” on the website.
The second challenge to the classic model of political websites is the use of a “News Release” to populate your content.
A political website should tell users where you stand, why you stand there, and then ask them what they think.
When the voter has to read through a news release written in the third person, on your own website, it re-enforces the perception of the authenticity gap people feel from their politicians.
By thinking about political post-formats you can improve your workflow.
All political communication should include the who, what, when, where, and most importantly why.
Instead of writing the draft news release try this first :
- Write the draft email to your supporters.
- Add some background detail with links and then draft post it to your website.
- Add some quote marks and change it into the third person news release format.
All political communication also includes variations of title, description, body, theme (tags), and category. Whether a single picture, a YouTube Video, e-newsletter, or News Release the content you have drafted will dictate where and how you use it, and re-use it for all your communication vehicles.
Enabling Post Formats
Since WordPress 3.6 isn’t out yet there is still time to start thinking about how to harness a Post Format Political WordPress Theme. If you have any ideas, please share them in the comments below.