Creative Circle Media Solutions, one of the leading software providers in the newspaper industry, has created an effective way to gather and present information about the upcoming election through an Election 2020 app.
“Local newspapers aren’t making enough money from local (or national) elections, which is nuts because newspapers readers vote. We have to do a better job of making sure candidates understand that,” said Bill Ostendorf, Creative Circle's founder and president. “We’re hoping this app helps do just that.”
Prior to the election, a self-service module allows local candidates to post a brief bio, photo and basic information as a public service. For a fee, candidates can then post an upgraded listing with five position statements, a brochure, multiple photos, a video, social links and more.
"Publishers can supplement what they get in postings from candidates to create a complete online database of everyone running for local offices," said Ostendorf. Candidate profiles can be displayed on websites through a variety of attractive widgets and a list view searchable by candidate name, party and local races.
“This will help papers become the go-to source of election-related information,” said Ostendorf. “And the self-service upgrade is a new way to make money.”
The app also has a sponsorship option and opens the door to other advertising opportunities.
On election night, publishers can add local election results through a special interface in the app’s CMS and create charts and displays to show who won each local race.
"Elections are a big problem for publishers because most CMS platforms really have no answer for displaying election results in a professional, user-friendly way," said Ostendorf, who has worked as a consultant for hundreds of media companies across three continents and has led the redesign of more than 700 print publications and 300 media websites. “Our results templates will look great and get information to readers quickly.”
The app is available for a flat annual fee and is renewable every year so publishers can use it for local elections year-round.
Creative Circle's growing lineup of specialized apps all work with any website and are easy to deploy. "All our software is designed to be easy to learn and use and we try to keep everything completely non-technical, but we offer plenty of technical support if publishers need help deploying our apps on your website," said Ostendorf.
"We'll be releasing more of these apps in the months ahead as they've proven to be wildly popular," said Ostendorf. "What's Open," the first app released this spring to help publishers showcase the businesses open during the pandemic, was deployed on more than 200 media sites. "Honor My Grad," designed to help parents make a fuss over their 2020 graduates, was deployed on more than 100 media sites.
"We're building these apps to help publishers now, but all of them will have a long-term shelf life," said Ostendorf. "What's Open can be used any time a community suffers through a mass fire, hurricane or even a big snow storm while Honor My Grad can be used every year to honor local graduates."
One future app will involve a pet contest, since people are spending more time with their pets than ever. Others will generate traffic and revenue around apps focusing on how families are coping with working from home and teaching their kids during remote learning. "The goal with each app is to generate quality content that drives traffic while monetizing that content at a time when publishers are struggling with traditional advertising," said Ostendorf. "All are self-service, too, which is critical at a time when resources are stretched to the limit."
Creative Circle also offers a full service web CMS that is the most dynamic and flexible platform in the industry along with the newspaper industry’s first pay wall, a web-centric classified platform, paid content tools, online directories and a print production platform to streamline and automate print and print-to-web workflows. Creative Circle also provides high-end design and production outsourcing services.
For more information, go to www.myelection.news. To schedule a demo of "Election 2020" or any of Creative Circle’s range of software, outsourcing, consulting or design services, contact Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org, 401-455-1555, or Sean Finch, VP/sales, at email@example.com, 309-269-7834.