I'm trying to wrap my head around the city council candidates for Ward 1 this week. I was hoping to make the meet and greet with Jose Velez last night, but the baby wasn't up for anything outside of throwing food and going to bed at 6. We're planning on going to Audubon to meet Doron Clark tomorrow morning, and still need to find a way to interact with Kevin Reich.
However, when all you have to go one is online presence, a few things stand out. Here is what I've gathered so far.
Please take charge of your email campaign. Sending out emails without sending one to yourself to see how it appears is criminally negligent. Here are the issues you desperately need to fix asap:
Write a proper email subject -- I have now received two emails from you, both with the subject line "Email Subject." How this has not gotten caught in my spam filter I will never know, but I nearly deleted the first assuming it was spam (and may have deleted some, I have no idea).
Logo -- Be sure to understand that most people receive their emails without display. I get no logo, just a word "logo" up top. When I hit "display image" I still do not get a logo. Try to make your email as simple as you can if you cannot be sure your images are going through; test your rendering a few times in a few different email clients, especially the most common ones like gmail and outlook.
Live links, or at least text -- There is no live link to your campaign website. Even worse, I tried to copy and paste the url into a browser and it appears to be picture rather than text and would not copy. You need to make getting to your web site much easier, or I'm not going to try.
Get your domain, or get something far from it -- Since I could not copy/paste your url, I flipped open a new browser page and typed it in. But I mistyped and did josevelez.com versus josevelez.org, like your email said. I don't pay a ton of attention to detail, which is why I don't run for office myself. The .com is a landing page. Since you obviously can't get that (unless you want to see what they are asking to buy it) I would recommend buying a .com url very different from it in order to park your site. I'm sure I'm not the only one who automatically puts in .com, so a www.citizensforvelez.com would stick in my head more easily than josevelez.org (and, as you can see, it's still open if you want it). Pay someone a few dollars and they'll sit down and talk useful urls with you.
Dear Mr. Reich -- you need serious SEO help. The fact that I just put kevin reich+city council into google and can't find your website on the first page does not bode well. At the very least, may I suggest google ads so you show up when people type in your name? Or Minneapolis City council? And, while you are in there, your opponents' names?
Luckily, someone sent me the address last week, so I can go back to my email to find it.
Ok, now that we have established that it's near impossible to find your site without insider info, let's look at the other big problem: please, please EDIT YOUR TEXT! There is absolutely no excuse for you to have a website that has bad characters in it. How can you expect me to trust you with my city budget if you can't even do a second glance at your web copy?
Your website is pretty, your url is easy, your calendar is full of events, your facebook is overflowing, your issues and endorsements go on and on, and your media includes both new media and old. I'm running out of things to advise. Do I chide you for not trying to friend me yet? Scold your lack of twittering? Suggest a message board for your website so non-facebook people can interact with you more directly? I'm stumped. Hopefully I can come up with something before your coffee time tomorrow morning.
Will any of this help out Ward 1 candidates? I guess it all depends on who's savvy enough to set up google alerts...
Updated to add: Doron Clark has now friended me, so I guess that answers that question.