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McKeon’s website wins Bronze Mouse award

Posted: April 22, 2010 6:28 p.m.
Updated: April 23, 2010 6:20 p.m.
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Buck McKeon (R-Santa Clarita) has been recognized by the Congressional Management Foundation for having one of the best websites in Congress. 

The foundation analyzed all 620 congressional websites, including those of all Senate and House Members, committees (both majority and minority sites), and official leadership sites.

McKeon's site, McKeon.House.Gov, was one of only 135 websites commended by CMF in its 111th Congress Gold Mouse Project.

"With a congressional district located over 2,000 miles away from Washington, it is imperative that constituents in the 25th district have the ability to communicate directly with Congress and have information that is up-to-date and easily accessible." McKeon said. "My website serves as that access point and as an information hub on such issues as the economy, job creation, health care, immigration, and government spending.

"I have made my website and new media efforts a central part of my constituent services and I will continue to harness the best technology available to make connecting with constituents easier," he said. "I am grateful to the Congressional Management Foundation for recognizing the importance of technology to an engaged and informed citizenry."

The 111th Congress Gold Mouse Awards are part of CMF's Partnership for a More Perfect Union, which seeks to improve the quality of communication between Members and their constituents.

For this project CMF partnered with researchers from the Harvard Kennedy School, Northeastern University, University of California-Riverside, and the Ohio State University to study how Members of Congress can use the Internet to improve communications with their constituents and to promote greater participation in the legislative process.

"One of the key reasons for the awards is to highlight best practices so offices can improve their sites by learning from those already excelling in online communications," said Beverly Bell, CMF's executive director. "Websites like Congressman McKeon's serve as a prime example that we hope other congressional offices will follow.

"Mr. McKeon's website shows that he understands how to meet the needs of his constituents online," Bell said. "The Congressional Management Foundation congratulates Congressman McKeon for having a website that is among the best on Capitol Hill, and we are pleased to present him with the 111th Congress Bronze Mouse Award.

"The 111th Congress report shows that websites continue to be a critical channel through which Members and congressional committees can communicate with, and hear from, citizens. The Internet is a vital tool for elected officials and the public to use in the give-and-take of ideas and opinions that has characterized the American form of government since its founding," Bell said.

Websites were graded on how well they incorporate five core principles that CMF identified through extensive research as critical for effectiveness: know your audience; provide timely and targeted content that meets their needs; make the site easy to use; foster interaction both on and offline; and add value through innovation.

Using these core principles, an evaluation framework was developed by CMF and its research partners, which would be fair and objective while still taking into account important qualitative factors that affect a visitor's experience on a website.

McKeon is a co-chair of the Republican New Media Caucus which seeks to promote and advance technology in congressional offices and discover creative ways for constituent interaction online.

McKeon also maintains an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Amplify. This is his first Golden Mouse Award since the CMF started evaluating sites in 1998.

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