Cleveland Park Listserv posting guidelines
for political candidates, staff and supporters
The Cleveland Park Listserv is Washington, DC's largest neighborhood email list, with over 9,400 members. We're also a very busy place in cyberspace. For these two reasons, we've developed this set of guidelines for political candidates, staff and supporters. Before you post to the list, it's a good idea to review the list's general rules at http://clevelandpark.googlepages.com/clevelandparkrules .
1. Crossposts (messages sent to more than one email list), press releases, and campaign literature are not allowed on the Cleveland Park Listserv. If you try to crosspost political messages on a regular basis, the moderators will put you on can't-post status -- that makes our job easier. This list is meant for neighbors to discuss neighborhood matters with each other. They can discuss local races, of course, but messages should be the list member's original thoughts, sent just to this list.
2. It's okay to announce campaign events in the neighborhood. The Cleveland Park Listserv's boundaries are listed at http://clevelandpark.googlepages.com/clevelandparkrules. Just keep your announcement short, sweet and low on hype. We realize that you can't completely rewrite an event announcement just for our list, but if we see the identical post pending on our list that is on other email lists, we're going to press the delete button.
3. We encourage political discussion of local candidates. With that in mind, it's much better to post a message about an issue than about the candidate's qualifications. Think discussion, not advertising. Try to keep your message concise. The CP List isn't the place for discussion of national politics. Political events in support of national candidates that take place within the neighborhood may be announced, but the message must be limited to what list members need to know to attend the event and can't include campaign slogans or arguments for that candidate or against other national candidates.
4. We prefer messages from the candidate, rather than from the campaign. All messages need to be signed at the end by the individual who wrote and sent it. Again, we like to encourage debate and discussion, rather than have the list used as a bulletin board or kiosk. If you would like to get list members to attend an event, your message should be written as your personal invitation to your neighbors to attend; it should not be in the form of a press release.
5. DO NOT harvest or collect list members' email addresses. List members obviously don't like being spammed and our rules require that we ban anyone who collects or harvests list members' email addresses. We've discovered that once somebody's done that --sent unsolicited email to list members-- it's very hard for the candidate to escape that reputation, and the risk of alienating thousands of voters is very real.
6. In the interest of full disclosure, if you work or volunteer for a campaign, you must identify yourself as such.
One way to think of the Cleveland Park Listserv is as a letters-to-the-editors section of a newspaper, rather than as a street corner where flyers are distributed. If you have any questions about whether or not a particular message is suitable for the Cleveland Park Listserv, feel free to ask us. You can reach the moderators at cleveland-park-owner [at] yahoogroups (dot) com.
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