The Fallen: Lessons of Perry #7

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Today. Rick Perry’s worst mistakes number two.

Simplistic website blather will not enhance your reputation

In late September, posted a story about Rick Perry’s website, noting that the information in the issue section was light on substance and way too short on details for a man who wanted to be President. It was a valid observation, and something the campaign should have quickly corrected. Seven days later, nothing had changed, even though Perry had raised 17 million, more than enough for a good wordsmith and a top-notch webmaster.

Those who take the time to visit your website are a cut above your average political consumer.

They are making an effort to find you, and parting with their time to learn more about you and your positions. Other than reporters trying to learn what your positions are, or agents of an opponent trying to mine your positions for an opportunity, those who are taking the time to visit your website are potential contributors, volunteers and agents who can help spread your message and vision to a wider audience.

They are also activists. And if they see little more than boilerplate bromides and blather in the issue section of your website—or empty rhetoric with no facts, no figures, no details on why you are running or what you want to do or how you plan to do it…not only will they leave your site unhappy and unfulfilled, they can and sometimes will do damage to your campaign.

A lesson for all candidates running for public office. Don’t insult those who take the time to visit you. They may never come back and you’ll not get a second chance to make a first impression. In Perry’s case, it served to reinforce the growing notion that he had given little thought to his rationale, further reinforced by his performance in the debates.

Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.

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