Campaign PSA: Ensure You Are The Master Of Your Domain

The North Druid Hills – Briarcliff Patch brings us today’s valuable lesson if you’re a candidate, public official, or really anyone else with a branded website.  If you want to control your message, brand, and endorsements, you need to own the domain:

If you clicked on a link to DeKalb County Commissioner Elaine Boyer’s website on election night last week and found yourself staring at an endorsement for her challenger, your computer wasn’t malfunctioning.

A former website for the District 1 commissioner carried an endorement of her primary challenger Larry Danese – who she trounced in the July 31 primary – with the line: “Replace Elaine Boyer” and “It’s Time for Better Representation.”

Danese posted a note on his website on election night, saying the endorsement was the work of a web designer, Dave Carlson, who has worked for Boyer and owns the old website domain. Danese said he played no role in the site change.

Many candidates, especially first timers, turn everything over to others they trust at the start of a campaign.  It’s important to remember that the campaign controls significant intellectual property.  Understanding who actually owns what from the outset is critical to avoid having your message hijacked.