recommended reading

The New House Republican Web Strategy: Just Add BuzzFeed

Thinkstock

What do cat pictures and GIFs have to do with Republican politics? Not a whole lot, at least right now. But beginning next week, that'll change.

Staffers at the National Republican Congressional Committee are finishing up a site redesign that'll likely be rolled out this weekend. The new NRCC.org does away with all the typical features of a political website, emulating instead the style of the Web juggernaut whose top headlines currently include "10 Easter Bunnies Straight From Hell" and "14 Photos Of George W. Bush Touching Bald Men's Heads."

Yes. The committee that elects Republicans to the House is taking BuzzFeed's advice to heart... by copying BuzzFeed itself.

"BuzzFeed's eating everyone's lunch," said NRCC spokesman Gerrit Lansing. "They're making people want to read and be cognizant of politics in a different way."

The committee spent hours poring over BuzzFeed's site map and layout, studying how readers arrived at its landing pages and bounced from one article to the next. Unsurprisingly, a ton of traffic came from social media -- but a lot of it also seemed to come from the site's sidebar, said Lansing. So the NRCC's redesign includes a list of recent and popular posts.

Other changes include shorter posts, fewer menu items and a heavy helping of what now passes for social currency on the Web: snark.

The new site comes a few months into the beginning of a broader strategy to capture more of the social Web's attention. To that end, the NRCC has begun dropping blog posts with headlines like "13 Animals That Are Really Bummed on Obamacare's Third Birthday." A recent image macro the NRCC posted on Facebook featured a photo of President Obama laughing below a caption mocking voters for believing his claims about health insurance premiums.

With communications director Andrea Bozek overseeing a team of 20 Web writers, the NRCC's already noticed an uptick in traffic and donations. In the last three months, according to Lansing, NRCC.org has been attracting the same amount of traffic as it did toward the end of the 2012 campaign. For every visit, the site makes about $0.10 to $0.25 in contributions.

"To do that in the first quarter of an off year is pretty extraordinary," he said.

Here's an exclusive preview of the new site:

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.