John Edwards: that?s the way to do it

How can we persuade voters to vote for us? Recently, here at Multiplica, we presented a study of the persuasive capacity of the websites of the Catalan political parties in the election campaign for the Catalan Parliament.The results were not that brilliant.

A world away from the latest campaign website from the States. It?s the one by John Edwards, a Democrat who last week announced his intention to run for President in the 2008 elections. It won?t be easy, because to reach these elections he will first have to run against other candidates from his own party in the primaries, one of whom is none other than Hilary Clinton. To achieve his goal, he will need to use a lot of persuasion. That is just what he is offering on his official website. In spite of an initial error causing premature announcement (the people responsible for his campaign accidentally launched the web page with his candidacy a day earlier than planned), John Edwards? webpage is a good example of properly-applied persuadability.

The moment we enter we can see that he gets straight to the point, with a landing page which – with the typical campaign emotion-getter (the family photo) ? makes a clear call to action: he asks us for an e-mail address to join his campaign.

Once on the home page, the first thing to grab our attention is a video of the candidate explaining why (both rationally and emotionally) he wants to be the future President of the United States and why our participation is important.

To offer his arguments, Edwards brings out the big guns, with all the latest Internet tools: from all kinds of blogs (video, audio and photos), managed as much by John Edwards as his wife Elisabeth and his daughter Cate, to You Tube, Flickr, FaceBook and MySpace.

All designed to motivate people to get involved in his campaign. Once he has managed to pique our curiosity, he offers different ways in which to take part, with more or less involvement: from asking us for a simple contact e-mail address to asking us to spread Edwards? message, make donations or join the local action groups.

In short, it is a website along the same lines as Howard Dean?s in the last Democrat primaries in 2004 , where the aim was to excite people?s imagination and give them the ability to play an active role in the campaign. In this case, the donations were record-breaking. Let?s see what they can do with this new campaign.

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