Building Trust & Effectiveness in Congress
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Award-Winning Characteristic #9: Diversity of Communications Content

In the 9th part of our continuing series about Gold Mouse criteria, we are covering the importance of including all of your various types of media on your site, such as press releases, floor speeches, videos, and op-eds.

All of the media that the congressional office produces is suitable for a Member website and should be included. These communications can be used to keep constituents up-to-date with the Member’s most recent activities, actions and accomplishments, and are most helpful and relevant for all users when they are presented by topic as well as by date.

Characteristic #9: Diversity of Communications Content

Questions to be answered:

  • Can users access a diverse array of media content created by the office?
  • Are press releases organized by date?
  • Are press releases and other content organized by topic?
  • Are you posting archival copies of past pieces by the Member?

The specifics we look for:

  • Content that should be included:
  1. Press releases;
  2. Op-eds by the Member;
  3. Floor speeches;
  4. Committee activities;
  5. Proposed legislation;
  6. Statements, speeches or videos to particular constituent interest groups.
  • Video and audio clips.
  • Press releases should be organized by date.
  • Whether media content is organized by topic.
  • Archives of past op-ed pieces or columns by the Member should be kept, in addition to more recent writing.

Award-Winning Example: Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY)

10 Characteristics of an Award-Winning Member Website:

  1. Information on Issues
  2. Timeliness
  3. Usability
  4. Constituent Services and Casework
  5. Promoting Accountability to Constituents
  6. Legislative Process Information
  7. District/State Information
  8. Floor Proceedings
  9. Diversity of Communications Content
  10. Diversity of Communications Channels


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Our work focuses on improving congressional operations and enhancing citizen engagement through research, publications, training, and management services.

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