It hasn’t seemed that long, but it’s been about 2-1/2 years that our team has been handling Communications for the Delaware County Democratic Party. Over that time, we’ve accomplished a lot, and we’re ready to have a new team take charge.
Website: When our team took the Communications reins in 2017 one of the first things we did was to redesign the website on the existing NationBuilder platform. In June of 2018 we relaunched the website, onto our new WordPress web platform and the Action Network contact management system. Prior to launching the new website we performed lab-based usability testing; and from the user experience feedback we re-engineered the site making it more user-friendly, more content-rich, and easier to locate information and to engage with the Party. Thanks to Mindy Hedges for all her work in helping organize our content, to German Vargas our tech guru, Marian Jacques for keeping our events up-to-date and to others who have made contributions along the way.
Database: Some of the most complex work we did was in reformatting and “enriching” our database within the new contact system to better meet the messaging and reporting needs of the Party. Thanks to Mark Gallagher, John Yoder, and Denise McCandless for their expertise and help in this area. Among other benefits, we now have the capability to more efficiently and effectively update constituent information to keep our database as current as possible. List growth. During the last couple of years we’ve improved our data collection capabilities through the use of multiple online forms and enhanced data entry workflows to capture paper-based information. In the process we’ve grown our contact database of DelaDems by over 30%.
Newsletter: In January 2018 we launched a newsletter, which hadn’t been produced in years. The goal of “Delaware Directions” was to provide a friendly and informative newsletter to service the needs of the Party and the interests of our members. With the “Word from the Chair” section, we provided a platform for the Chair, which Peg has put to good use as did Ed before her. In order to introduce Party members and candidates to the community, we developed Member and Candidate “Spotlight” features. We also highlighted DelaDems who appeared in the local media, provided updates on important and relevant legislation making its way through the statehouse, and made sure people knew about upcoming events. And most important we reported on DCDP-related events and wrote occasional in-depth feature news stories related to Ohio politics. The newsletter would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of Mindy, Marian, and Bertie Dell. You can always check out the newsletter archive on the website, https://www.ohiodeladems.org/newsletter-archive/.
Social Media. One of the most important improvements we made in Social Media was launching the Facebook Photo Album area as a kind of unofficial record of events throughout the year so that visitors to our FB page could get a better idea of who we are as a Democratic party and as a community–and get a sense of the history of the Party at the same time. We spent a lot of time “albumizing” older pictures, adding descriptions and tags whenever possible, and of course maintaining the albums for current events. Please take a moment to relive some of the best moments of 2019 in our album area. https://www.facebook.com/pg/ohiodeladems/photos/?tab=albums&ref=page_internal. Another important change we made was the addition of a Facebook group dedicated to Party business. If you’re an Executive Committee member and not yet in this group and would like to join, please send a message to email@example.com.
Other achievements: New Branding. Two years ago we introduced the new DCDP logotype that you see on our social media pages, emails, websites, etc. We used variations of this as the newsletter masthead, fundraiser logotype, and more. Thanks again to Mindy’s expertise and the designer she recruited, Christine (Chris) Lewandowski. And while we never had a chance to fully present it, the team went through a brand positioning exercise to develop a slogan and positioning strategy for the Party. Thanks to all the folks who worked on that project including Jack Berelkamp, Denise, Marian, and Mindy. And as is true in marketing communications, there were other projects that were worked on that for various reasons never came to fruition, but that’s always part of the challenge.
It has been a rewarding experience, and we appreciated all the kind comments we’ve received over the years. Some of us will stay engaged with the committee and work with Melanie Farkas and Cara Posey to help continue the important work of Party Communications–certainly through transition. Best wishes to the new Comms team!