Online politics: get your content by following the ‘little and often’ rule

I’ve talked before about how slow and steady progress is usually the way to successful online politics (as in The secret to getting 1,000 ward residents to follow you on Twitter), but slow and steady progress often runs into a problem: where do you get the content from?

Whether it’s building up an email list, getting a decent readership for your blog or accumulating a good network of residents on Facebook, as you steadily build up towards large audiences you need a regular supply of content, and all the more so once you have got your large audience. Being seen to be regularly providing interesting, useful and occasionally fun news in itself helps build the audience.

The supply of potential information is not normally the issue – just try asking a councillor whether they think they get too few emails from the council with lengthy documents. But what often stops the information becoming online content is a feeling that this has to be a big job that takes time, and with pressures from too much else to do and the sense of having a blank sheet of paper to start with, often nothing happens.

The solution? Go for little and often, adding details and summaries as you move from the brief to the more substantive communications.

Facebook profile screenshotSo your Tweets or Facebook status updates are the most frequent form of communication, and the shortest. They may be up to several times a day but are always short – and relying on links to content elsewhere if a story is more complicated or details than 140 characters allows. Letting people know about a planning application, for example, becomes a simple tweet with a link to the online documents.

Then for the blog post every few days, you pick the tweet that was on the most important topic, expand further on the topic in a few sentences and put the story on the blog. Perhaps one of the planning applications has turned out to be controversial – so that becomes a fuller story, following up the response you got on Twitter to mentioning it.

Then for the email newsletter once a fortnight or once a month, you look through the blog posts, pick out the most important stories and expand on them a little further. Now perhaps you add in an account of a discussion you have had with the Planning Officer about that controversial application.

And then for the Focus leaflet? You go through the email newsletters, pick out the most important stories once again and expand on them yet again. Time to head off to a local meeting to gather petition signatures about that planning application and get a campaigning action photograph, perhaps.

In other words, rather than being put off by having to write a long story from scratch and never starting, kick off the process with a brief tweet, whose very brevity makes it much easier to do. Each time as you move up through blog and email to leaflets through doors, and you need longer content, expand on what you’ve done before. That way there’s never a blank sheet of paper staring at you and expanding what has already been written is often much easier to do.

If you are consistently selecting and expanding on the best stories as you reuse ideas, you avoid any risk of annoying people by duplicating messages because even if someone gets all your messages via all the different routes, each time there is something more for them.

Not all stories fit this formula – sometimes you may want a longer, more detailed story on your blog than can fit in a leaflet, for example – but as a basic template to follow that turns your good intentions into effective online campaign, it is a very good one to use.

Thanks to Jake Holland for helping to crystallise the thoughts in this post earlier in the year

Read more by or more about , , or .
This entry was posted in Online politics.
Advert

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRob Banks 27th Jul - 11:01pm
    Hi Caron - at the time, in fairness, probably not :)
  • User AvatarStevan Rose 27th Jul - 10:59pm
    Interesting. Some frustrations. It's not helpful to be forced into single choices. The NHS - I would cut free access to non-essential and cosmetic services...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 27th Jul - 10:47pm
    The UK did not vote to leave the customs union, David Davis is over the top. There are big political risks in the USA in...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 27th Jul - 10:46pm
    There's nothing new in this world. One of the first co-ownerships and profit sharing schemes was set up by one Theodore Taylor (1850- 1952) a...
  • User AvatarCaron Lindsay 27th Jul - 10:42pm
    Rob, you are a true hero! Thank you! Did you ever think that one day she'd be a Tory Cabinet Minister?
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 27th Jul - 10:34pm
    Please see the speech by Senator Elizabeth Warren. The USA still does not have equal pay for equal work. A female President is long overdue,...
Thu 28th Jul 2016
Sat 30th Jul 2016
Mon 1st Aug 2016
Wed 3rd Aug 2016
Sat 6th Aug 2016
Wed 10th Aug 2016
Fri 12th Aug 2016
19:00
Sat 13th Aug 2016
Tue 16th Aug 2016
Thu 18th Aug 2016
Sun 21st Aug 2016