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113th Congress Gold Mouse Awards for Best Congressional Websites

The 70 winners of CMF’s Gold, Silver, and Bronze Mouse Awards exemplify the best of online communications in Congress. Websites that won these awards embodied most, if not all, of the characteristics of effective Member and committee websites. For congressional offices seeking to improve their websites, CMF encourages you to browse all of these websites.

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112th Congress Gold Mouse Award Winners

Shown at the CMF Gold Mouse Awards ceremony on November 16, this video highlights some of our award-winning Members of Congress and staff for the 112th Congress. In it, they discuss why it’s important to communicate with constituents online.

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The Quick Fix: Improve Your Website Easily

With one week until Gold Mouse evaluations commence, many congressional offices are wondering what they can do to improve their website quickly. Here are some ways to make it better fast!

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112th Congress Gold Mouse Evaluations Begin on June 15!

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Offices now have an extra 2 weeks to finish any last minute changes to their websites. Evaluations will begin June 15! To help you prepare, we have compiled an extensive FAQ.

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Back to Basics: The Foundations of a Good Website

Members of Congress are always coming up with new and innovative ways to engage citizens online, but no congressional office should neglect their website. After all, in our survey of over 10,000 citizens, we found that the website of the Senator or Representative is the one of the first places they turn for information. So it's essential that congressional websites provide at least a basic level of information and services. With limited time and resources, where should offices focus their efforts? Here are the 4 most critical areas to focus on, the questions to ask yourself as you improve your website, and examples from award winning websites from the 111th Congress:

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Coming soon: 112th Congress Gold Mouse evaluations

As Hollywood prepares for the Oscars, Congress is gearing up to compete for a different prize: the Gold Mouse Awards. They are awarded to the Members of Congress who best use the Internet to more effectively communicate with and serve citizens. Preparations have already begun for the evaluations to start this summer!

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Turning Websites into Online Offices

For congressional offices looking to improve their online communications, one of the biggest challenges can be deciding what information to put on your website, or what's most important. We find that it can be helpful to think of the website as another district or state office which serves constituents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. What services do your physical offices provide to constituents? What questions and concerns do they hear? Let the answers to those questions be your guide.

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Using Facebook for more than just press releases

For some congressional offices, the default use for new communication avenues is as just another place to post the office's press releases. We saw it when blogs became popular, and the same has been true with Twitter and social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook. But it's not the most effective use of those resources.

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Inside the Hill: What Makes an Award Winning Website

In the second installment of "Inside the Hill", congressional staff discuss what it takes to create and maintain an effective and useful website.

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