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The Issues Page of a Political Campaign Website

While the political campaign website offers the candidate the opportunity to discuss an almost infinite number of issues, it is best to focus on three (3) to five (5) major issues on the issues website page. Minor issues can be discusses in news releases or can be added to the website over time as they grow in community concern.

The most salient issues are likely to be the same as the major national issues facing the country. The campaign's website should discuss the local implications and solutions to the national problems.

For instance, if the national problem of low graduation rates impacts your community, your issue web page and sub-pages should specificall discuss what can be done to improve the graduation rates in your community.

The key factor is to pick and choose those issues which are most salient in your local community. If you have an abandoned mine in your community that is poisoning the local drinking water, this is going to be much more significant than most other issues.

The Form of an Issues Web Page

The design of the issues web page should clearly present the issues in a succinct manner. I recommend a headline, a single illustrative photograph, two or three paragraphs discussing the issue, and a quote from the candidate concerning the issue.

A longer discusssion of the particular issue should be handle in linked subpages of the website. You should confine your discussion to the one particular issue in the subpages and not try to mix issues. In simple terms, make a separate subpage for each major issue.

The headline should be designed to facilitate search engine optimization of the issue in order that, when an individual searches the topic on Google or other major search engine, your website and issue pages appear among the results for your local community. This means that the headline needs to contain the name of your community in addition to the issue.

For example, during speed skating season I reside in Kearns, Utah. If I were advising a candidate running for the Utah State Senate in this particular district, and we determined that low high school graduation rates were a concern in the community, I would suggest the following headline "Improving the Graduation Rate at Kearns High School." In the subsequent paragraphs, I would discuss encouraging the students to attend college and preparing those not interested in college for careers that do not require a college education. I would also the need for educational funding to be a higher budget priority.

The trickiest thing is the secret messages conveyed in the photographs concerning each particular major issue. To the extent possible, the photograhs needs to represent the ethnic and racial diversity of the district without demeaning or stereotyping any particular racial or ethnic group. Fou our example, I would attempt to use a photograph which shows students of all colors and creeds working together in a classroom setting. Most importantly, you need to obtain permission slips for everyone who appears in the photographs.

The candidate's quote needs to be on target and in agreement with the candidate's philisophical stance on the issues. You should link to subpages which contain the candidates speeches, position papers, YouTube speeches, radio presentations, flash, and other multimedia presentations.

Donald Lewin Nelson

6023 Amos Avenue, Lakewood, California 90712-1324
4144 West 4835 South, Kearns, Utah 84118-4030