Image Credit: Fellowship of the Rich

Elected officials have the power to grow their own websites

Pity the poor elected official! There they are sitting on top of one of the biggest political events of their time in office and they believe that they have no way to get the word out to the voters who choose to interact with them online. Sure, they've got a great looking website, especially if they’ve selected GSL Solutions’ HillTop service to implement it; however, they just don’t think that they can add anything to it in order to get the word out. Is there any solution to this problem?

What Types Of Information Do Elected Officials Want To Share?

Before we look into how an elected official can get the word out, perhaps we should spend just a moment or two taking a look at the different types of information that may need to be communicated. After all, how the information gets communicated may have a lot to do with what type of information we are talking about.

The most obvious scenario is when some event that will be of interest to constituents is developing. Sure, you could send out a direct mail piece, but what would you say? How long would it take to get to the constituents and is there a possibility that everything could be different by then? Going on TV is another great way to get information out to constituents, but what channel? What time of day? Will they even make time to talk with you -- does the local TV station believe that this issue is big enough to take up time on their broadcast? It sure seems like your website is probably the best place to quickly get the word out.

Other types of information that you might want to get out and into the hands of your constituents involves how things have finally wrapped up. As with everyone else, constituents' memories are notoriously fickle and what might have been a big issue last month has long since slipped from their memory. If this issue has finally been resolved, one way or another, then it’s up to you to take the time to remind your constituents about the issue and then to educate them on how things finally worked themselves out. You don’t have to agree with it but you do need to take charge and make sure that your constituents know where things stand now.

What’s The Best Way To Get The Word Out?

Given that there are so many different and important things going on, you need an effective way to communicate with your voters. In all honesty, in this day and age your official website is probably one of the best tools that you have at your disposal. Now all you have to do is discover how best to use it.

One of the most basic things that a lot of elected officials don’t realize about their official websites is that they have the ability to create new web pages. If you are using GSL Solutions’ HillTop service, then creating a new web page is very simple indeed. All that a user has to do is to select “Pages” off of the top menu. Once on the page which lists out all of a website’s existing web pages, over on the right hand side the user will see an option to “Add New Page”. Answer a few questions, and then you’ll have a blank sheet of paper on which to add any content that you want to.

Having a blank web page is a great place to start, but what then? The very first thing that you’ll want to do is to create a title for the page that both clearly identifies what the page does and will capture the attention of readers who happen upon it. Next, you’ll want to include one or more images. This is important to capture the reader’s interest. Finally, to get your message across you’ll want to add some text. Make sure that you use the tools provided to properly format, spell check, and position your text in order to maximize readability.

What Does All Of This Mean For You?

As an elected official, you really work for the voters. What this means is that you have an ongoing responsibility to keep them up-to-date. They’d like to know what is going on regarding the important issues of the day, but they may not know where to turn in order to get accurate information. This is where you can step in.

You have the ability to provide your constituents with updates on hot issues. Additionally, you can take the time to update them on issues that were hot, but which may have been forgotten over time. The best way to go about doing this is to create new website pages that deal with the topic. If you are using GSl Solutions’ HillTop service, then you have the ability to easily create new web pages and load them with titles, images, and informative text.

As an elected official, you are uniquely positioned to keep your voters informed about what is really going on. Your official website provides you with a powerful tool with which to accomplish this. Take the time to learn how to create new web pages and you’ll be well prepared the next time that you have to quickly and efficiently get the word out to your voters about an important topic.

- Dr. Jim Anderson HillTop – Political Websites That Get The Vote!™


Question For You: How quickly do you think that you would need to create a new web page to get the word out about a hot issue?

GSL Solutions' HillTop service provides politicians with a way to get voters more involved with the political process. HillTop has been designed by politicians, for politicians in order to provide easy-to-use tools that make updating a political website with current and topical information easy to do. The website becomes a powerful communication tool between the politician and the voters. More information can be found at: www.HillTopCMS.com.

Tags: web page, hot issue, create, wrap up, topical, time, political web site, campaign, voters, reelected, issues