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Gold Mouse Awards Announcement: New Timeframe for Evaluations

In past years, CMF has typically kicked off the Gold Mouse Awards project in June. However, we're doing things a little differently this year—both in terms of our evaluation process and our timeframe. Over the coming weeks, we'll give you more details about how we're changing the awards, but for now, we wanted to let congressional staff (and vendors) know that the website evaluations won't begin until Labor Day. That means you have more time—including August recess—to improve your site.

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Senate Budget Committee Listening to the Public

New Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray recently announced the launch of “MyBudget,” the committee’s new online effort to encourage members of the public to participate in the federal budget process. This new online tool allows the public to share their stories, budget priorities, and ideas with the committee as it writes a budget.

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Learning the Lessons of Campaign 2012 and Applying Them to Your Advocacy Campaign

When it comes to technology and tactics, political campaigns are often the laboratories for advocacy campaigns. What was tested in November’s election is often translated into grassroots strategies after the Congress is sworn in. So what are those lessons and how can you apply them to YOUR advocacy campaign? That was the subject of the most recent 2012 Advocacy Leaders Network (ALN) workshop entitled “Learning the Lessons of Campaign 2012 and Transforming Them to an Advocacy World.”

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Highlighting Online Innovations in the House

As we mentioned last week, our Gold Mouse Award researchers have their jobs cut out for them, reviewing 92 criteria for each of the 538 Member office sites (there were three vacant seats). (Review our detailed methodology here in PDF.) Needless to say, it stands out when an office is doing something online that others are not. That’s why we wanted to highlight these features – they may not seem innovative by some standards, but their novelty on the Hill is worth sharing in the hope that other offices get creative and inspired in their own communications with constituents.

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Adding Value Through Innovation…by Hill Standards

Last summer, as CMF combed through 618 congressional websites to identify the Gold Mouse Award winners, our researchers kept an eye out for innovative features that we weren’t seeing on other congressional sites, or features that were being done particularly well. They don’t guarantee you an award – you must have the underlying content and timeliness we look for – but they certainly don’t hurt.

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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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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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