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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
 
 
 

ABOUT CMF

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CMF is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to helping Congress and its Members meet the evolving needs and expectations of an engaged and informed 21st century citizenry.

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

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PROJECTS

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Communicating with Congress The Internet forever changed how citizens and Congress interacts. The goal of this project is to facilitate a more meaningful democratic dialogue.

 

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Gold Mouse Project
Congress should effectively communicate with and serve citizens online. CMF assesses congressional websites to identify best and innovative practices that can be more widely adopted by the House and Senate.

 

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Inside the Hill
Produced by Founding Partner Fleishman-Hillard, this video series allows you to hear directly from Members and staff on how technology is changing the way Congress works.

 

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Life in Congress
This novel research project by CMF and the Society for Human Resource Management has two goals: identify the factors that motivate congressional staff and shed some light on Congress as a workplace.

 

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21st Century Town Hall Meetings CMF seeks to continue our innovative work in this area by conducting comparative research on in-person town halls, online town halls, and telephone town halls.