Politicians arguably have the hardest job of any profession that requires being in the public eye. Politicians, after all, are directly responsible to their constituents, and that requires being on message at all time. Careful political reputation management is key not only to being elected, but also to staying elected. The Internet has made it both easy to spread your message while making your online reputation as a politician key to any successful election. But what do politicians need to manage their online reputation, and what are some risks that you might run into with politician reputation management?
Political Image Management Means You’re Always Campaigning Online
The first thing to remember is that, online, the campaign, and the attendant reputation management concerns, never really ends. Both supporters and opponents will be watching your social media and blog closely and looking for any sign of your opinion on controversial issues, or for any mistakes you might make. Furthermore, every reply you offer and item you post online will be seen by constituents, journalists, and others. Regardless of your stance on various issues, remember to stay professional; think carefully before posting a status update or a blog entry and make sure it fits your overall political image strategy.
Build and Keep a Professional Presence
It’s important to keep your private social media accounts and email separate from your political campaigning. This is both because it’s easier for opponents to spin a personal opinion into a public one, and because you need your personal space. Build up a professional presence for your campaign, but make it clear to friends, family, and supporters that your professional presence is where to go for political discussions.
Update Your Professional Presence Frequently
A social media presence’s value in a political reputation management strategy is directly tied to how frequently it’s updated. With a political campaign, it’s important to update with politically relevant content. For example, you might post an official release concerning an issue constituents are concerned about, or post a news article with the relevant plank of your political platform attached. Posting relevant content will keep your constituents engaged and aware of your campaign.
Engage With Constituents Online
One of the key advantages of social media is that constituents can reach out to you directly with their concerns. While you shouldn’t reply immediately, especially if they’re asking for your opinion on a complex or thorny issue, you should reply. Even if a constituent doesn’t intend to vote for you, demonstrating that you’re listening and that you’ve thought extensively about the issues facing the electorate is key to a successful campaign. Always remember that it’s not just your fans online who are following what you say.
If you need to improve your online political reputation for your campaign, or are unsure how online reputation management can fit into your overall campaign strategy, ReputationDefender can help. We’ll show you how to build an online reputation that fits your needs, and reputation management strategies for dealing with smear campaigns and other common problems politicians face. Let the voters decide who wins, not the Internet. Contact ReputationDefender today.