Campaign Websites

I have yet to convince a candidate of this and they all find it very hard to believe that I’d say this, considering my professional background deals directly with the web, but I hate campaign websites.

If you aren’t running for a federal or statewide race, there is no reason for you to have a campaign website unless you can get it for free. There is simply no reason.

“Sure,” you say. “Easy for you to say that, but what about the media?”

My God man! Do you really want the *LOCAL* media going to a website to find out about you instead of establishing a personal relationship with that reporter? You’ve got to be kidding me.

And if you are in a local race, do you really want to give up the 5% on online contributions when you’d probably just as easily get it all through the mail?

You may think that having a campaign website allows you on the local level to control your message. That’s crap. It just provides a local reporter with a convenient way to avoid having to speak to you or your campaign directly. They can get their information from the website, which is cold and impersonal, instead of getting it from you or your manager.

If you aren’t running for a statewide or federal office, you are wasting your time, talent, and money on a campaign website.

There, I said it. Certain friends of mine will hate me, but privately they’ll agree — even the ones who got websites for their campaigns when I told them they were wasting their money.

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Erick Erickson

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1 Comment

  • I agree to an extent, but disagree somewhat as well. I agree that other than statewide or federal races, you shouldn’t put tons of resources and stock in a website. You aren’t going raise a lot of money thru it, which will actually end up costing you, and it isn’t going to be the primary resource for local media, or at least you don’t want it. Still, local races can present very basic sites, which include info as a resource.

    Websites are now becoming a campaign HUB, or perhaps a virtual campaign HQ. This is great for reducing costs on a formal HQ, which is typically going to be the candidate’s home in local races. It still can serve as a central resource for the campaign, but most importantly, it will be a resource HUB to which you can refer people for more info about the candidate. Establish personal relationships with local media, but also have a place where you can say, “for more information on that issue, please go to my website and you can read all about my plan.”

    That can be a huge help, especially when time to communicate with voters is limited, and printed material costs, as well as additional expenses.

    So, there is an equitable solution where ultimately a website, whether extensive for statewide/fed races or basic info for local races, can be a huge asset and resource for the campaign.