You may be aware of the upcoming municipal election and you may have also seen the post I published earlier this week evaluating the mayoral candidates who are online. I’m now taking a look at how the candidates for city council are using social media. To make things a little more manageable, and to avoid making this post too long, I have divided up the municipal wards into different sectors. First up are the wards in the eastern part of the city: Orleans (ward 1), Innes (ward 2), Beacon Hill – Cyrville (ward 11), and Rideau – Rockliffe (ward 13).
One of the most important things to have on your website is contact information. This is especially true if you are looking to be elected to a public office of some sort. There is a good chance some potential voters may want to contact you to ask about your platform, and that might be difficult to do if they can’t get in touch with you. Make sure your contact information is easy to find; visitors should not have to dig through all the pages on your site just to find a way to get in touch with you. If you have a contact form embedded in your site, have an alternative way for people to contact you. People might want to contact you to get time-sensitive information, and those forms are not always the most reliable.
While social media is quite useful and you may have been told that having a social media presence is beneficial, don’t sign up just because you were told to do so. If you feel comfortable being on and using platforms like Twitter and Facebook, then go for it. If you don’t, no one is making you use the tools. It looks a lot better if you’ve concentrated your efforts where you feel confident and comfortable, than if you have Twitter for the sake of having Twitter and your profile is completely inactive. So just do what you feel comfortable doing.
Only the candidates who had an online presence were evaluated. Using the criteria below, here is how I graded each of them.
- Is complete information available?
- Are links to social media profiles available and working?
- Is information easy to find?
- Is the candidate’s Twitter biography complete (including photo) and is there a link to the campaign website?
- Do they tweet regularly and engage with potential voters?
- Do they have a Facebook fan page or a profile?
- If they only have a personal profile, are their security settings such that any visitor can see the posts without being a Facebook friend of the candidate?
- Does the candidate post a variety of content?
- Ward 1: Orléans
- Ward 2: Innes
- Ward 11: Beacon Hill – Cyrville
- Ward 13: Rideau – Rockliffe
Featured photo: Ottawa Canada September 2010 — Ottawa City Hall/ Hôtel de Ville d’Ottawa 10 uploaded to Flickr by Douglas Sprott