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How to Win a Congressional Website Award: Solid Issue Information

The Congressional Management Foundation will commence our seventh round of analyzing and grading more than 600 congressional personal, committee, and leadership office websites on June 1. The results will be released in October, with the Gold Mouse Awards Ceremony in November. We recognize that Members of Congress, by their nature, are competitive, which is why we established the Gold Mouse Awards system in 2001. One of the most common questions CMF gets is: 'What is the most important factor for winning a Gold Mouse Award?'

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Inside the Hill: The Power of Online Video

In the fifth installment of 'Inside the Hill', congressional staff discuss how online video can help connect citizens and Members of Congress.

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Inside the Hill: How The Public Is Heard

In the fourth installment of "Inside the Hill", Members of Congress and congressional staff discuss how citizens' voices are heard on Capitol Hill.

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Contrary to Popular Belief, Constituents Trump Lobbyists

Today, CMF and the Partnership released a new survey of congressional staff which reveals that they believe constituents have far more influence on undecided lawmakers than lobbyists. If you listen to the media, the pundits, or the general public, however, you might think lobbyists are at the top of the heap. But our research shows this is not the case.

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Op-Ed: The Law-Abiding Congressional Majority

"There was something slightly hypocritical in Ruth Marcus's column on the ethics cases pending before Congress ["House of entitlement," op-ed, Aug. 4]. She acknowledged the public "misperception" that "most lawmakers" are "heedless of ethics rules." Yet The Post and others in the media perpetuate that myth."

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Taking Transparency a Step Further

Earlier this week at our House training on congressional websites and the Gold Mouse Report, one of the attendees asked what his office - as an award winning office - could do to improve their website and perhaps get a Gold or even the Platinum Mouse Award next time around. I love that question because it shows that an office is not resting on their laurels happy that they won an award. It's something we get a lot. The best want to be better. Regrettably, we don't always see that same focus and drive in the offices at the bottom of the list.

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111th Congress Gold Mouse Project Training

Today we conducted training programs for House and Senate congressional staff on "Lessons from the 111th Congress Gold Mouse Project". Attendees looked at examples of successful websites, learned how to immediately improve their websites and received advice and insight from a panel of staff from award-winning congressional offices.

If you missed it, download the presentation handouts here: Gold-Mouse-Training-handouts (PDF) (9.3 MB).

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Our office is going for the gold! ...where do we start?

This is the first post in our series on "building a better website."

After the initial excitement of the Mouse Award announcement wears off, congressional offices (even the award winners!) have one question: How do we make our website better?

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Inside the Hill: Congress and New Media: The World Has Changed

In the first installment of "Inside the Hill", Members of Congress and staff discuss how social media is changing the way Members can communicate with their constituents.

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Partnership For A More Perfect Union Launched

The cornerstone of our democracy is a Congress elected by and accountable to the people. Improving and enriching the relationship between them is essential to forming a more perfect union. And as any relationship expert will tell you, communication is key.

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SETTING COURSE

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Now in its 13th edition, Setting Course is a comprehensive guide to managing a congressional office:

  • Part I is for new Members, focusing on setting up an office. 
  • Part II helps Members themselves define their role in the office and in Congress. 
  • Part III provides guidance to veteran and freshman offices on managing specific office operations.