David F. Carr
The Carr Communications campaign website package provides a standard bundle of features to support basic web content management, as well as online donations, volunteer registration, generating donation and volunteer reports, and managing email lists and broadcasts. At this writing, we are using it for Marleine Bastien for U.S. Congress – www.votebastien.com, Mark Marciano for Florida House – votemarkmarciano.com, and Roy Gold for Mayor of Coral Springs – roygold.com.
We believe it’s important for our clients to be able to update their own websites, particularly in a political campaign where quickly posting new information (or removing some inaccurate tidbit from the website) can make the difference between scoring points and impressing voters, versus presenting outdated information that makes the campaign and the candidate look out of touch. So this system lets us give the candidate, campaign manager, or designated volunteer a password for posting their own updates as needed – even if they prefer to outsource that chore to us most of the time.
Below, I describe the core functionality of the system. The actual look of the site can be customized with your logo, color choices, and general look you prefer. If you have an existing logo, we can build the web template around that, with complimentary color choices.
After few years of working with my own homegrown content management system, I’ve adapted WordPress as the basis for website management. WordPress is best known as a popular blogging tool, but it can also be used to manage the standing pages of your website (candidate bio, key issues, endorsements, etc). The blogging feature allows you to post more date-sensitive material (campaign launch, press release on the latest big endorsement, and eventually, we hope, thank you to supporters for making this great victory possible).
Here is how that works, as the public sees it:
And as the candidate or campaign manager would see it when logged in to the site administration system:
This is the WordPress piece – a web-based user interface that lets you edit the basic content of your website and mark text bold or italic, add links, upload images and videos, etc. It provides a solid foundation for keeping your website up to date and dynamic, and there are all sorts of neat plug-ins available for search optimization, social media interaction, and other enhancements.
On top of that, I add my own system for posting events …
… and recording RSVPs …
… and taking donations …
I am a Certified PayPal Developer, so I typically use PayPal to handle the transactions securely. Through my customizations, the system also records information required for campaign finance reporting, such as the donor’s employer and occupation.
With your administrator’s login, you can run reports on donations, event RSVPs, and other campaign activity through the Campaign menu I add to the WordPress dashboard.
The last item on this list, Email Blast, is an optional item. It has the advantage of being closely integrated with the website, so I can easily import an event notice as shown below and broadcast it out to the campaign email list.
Alternately, I can work with you to integrate one of the commercial email management services, such as Constant Contact or MailChimp. These have the advantage of being large-scale operations with a lot of experience dealing with spam filters and other complexities of reliable email delivery.
If you’re interested in talking with me about the right kind of website for your campaign needs, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-757-5827.