YOUR PROFILE CAN MAKE OR BREAK YOUR CAMPAIGN
YOUR PROFILE CAN MAKE OR BREAK YOUR CAMPAIGN
Why you haven’t heard from me lately
Easy answer: I’ve been busy entering election information into a database.
Real answer: People, even educated people, don’t seem to know how to put together a profile or resume anymore.
While I’m taking a break from data input, I’ll explain what I mean, just in case one of my readers,
a. is running for office somewhere, or
b. knows or supports someone running for office, or
c. is trying to find information about potential senators, representatives, governors, mayors, councilpersons or dog catchers.
Putting together a profile for a campaign is somewhat like writing a resume. The same basic information is needed, but not in so much detail. It’s okay to start out with a little description of why you’re interested in the job, and what makes you think you’re the right person for the job. However, five or six paragraphs about what your parents did, how you learned to shoe your first horse, and your opinion on Kool-aide stands compared to Kiosks will probably lose you the vote (or job).
Some of your background is important to who you are… maybe you were raised by a single father, or your parents were non-English speaking immigrants, or you had 14 brothers and sisters. Most of this can be used after you get the pertinent details of your history down.
Here’s what I’m looking for:
Education and degree
Previous and current employment, including dates of employment, job description or position, and any civic services in particular that would prepare you for the position you now seek.
If you have experience as an elected official, a short list of your most important votes, projects completed, or committees you served on is good information.
Birthdate and age are helpful, but not required. (I do sort of hate to think I voted for a 30-something – see picture options – and got a 70-something, though.) Religion is also optional.
Picture options: Some people put in a good picture from shoulders up, and others like to be seen standing or maybe even a family shot. Those are pretty much the limits. Pictures should be from a decade reasonably near this one. Anything else is inappropriate for a basic profile.
What I’m telling you are the guidelines for submitting information to a profile site for a campaign – Ballotpedia, for example. If you’ve also set up your own campaign page, you can be more liberal with your information and images. Many candidates choose to use Face Book as a campaign site. If you do, make sure your page name is easy to find. “Why I decided to run for office” is not a good page name. “Bob Jones for Congress NY” is great. (I didn’t make that up… “Why I decided to run for office” was actually the name of a candidate’s Face Book page!) In the last few weeks I’ve lowered my expectations. If I search Face Book for Bob Jones, Robert Jones, Jones for Congress, Jones for NY and Jones for 2018, (with and without Bob or Robert) I give up.
I’ve literally spent hours searching for any single thing to put in as biographical information. I sometimes get lucky and find a one or two word job description in a news article about the candidates. I’ve put in as little as “US Veteran” or “Teacher”. If I can’t find some basic information, I put in a statement as follows – No education or employment on record.
About education information… what, exactly, does “studied at UCLA” mean? Did you use their library? Did you take a class? Wait… your campaign page refers to you as Dr. Jones. MD? DVM? PhD? DDS? Did you graduate across the board from UCLA, or did you get your doctorate at Harvard?
Jobs…It’s not necessary to list every job you’ve ever held, but I need something more detailed than “I’ve been everything from a trucker to CEO of two different companies.” I’m inclined, at that point to put in – Truck Driver.
Ideally, every candidate should have their own website. By putting one together, you show your organizational skills and make yourself more ‘available’ to you voters. There are as many formats to use as your imagination can handle. Just keep in mind that readers often have limited time, so make sure you give them the things they really need to know about you early on. Those that are really interested in you will keep reading to learn the details. One way to decide how to layout your web page is to look at some of your opponents. Look at the pages of some experienced politicians and see how they set their profile.
Other pieces of information you should include on your web page, or make available to go along with your profiles are: Face Book name, Twitter name, link to your webpage, link to other well-known social media such as Linked In, You Tube, and Instagram. A separate contact page is always a good idea. Include your email address and a phone number for your campaign office. Some people put in P.O. Box numbers, too.
I Hope you find these suggestions useful. There is still time to spruce up your profile before November 6th. – END