Why do so many candidates have bad digital campaigns?

So many candidates have bad digital campaigns, and I just don’t understand it.

I need to be clear – I’m not blaming the candidates for this, as I’m well aware not everyone is comfortable in the digital world. No, who I’m very clearly blaming here are the main parties, who seem not to offer digital training and support to their candidates.

So many candidates used free webmail addresses and did not even have an email address supplied by the party. Surely this would look like a bit more professional?

Also, many candidates struggled under the amount of email they received. Apart from one candidate …. “Something New” candidate James Smith is a computer programmer, so wrote a system to help him deal with all the incoming email. His blog on the topic is a good read.

I’ve heard stories of other candidates who were unable to get anything done other than just emailing back to bulk messages, replying to each email individually!

So I’ve created a script that helps manage this.

To build my database of potential voters, this is amazing. Suddenly I have 100 more people who I know care about certain things, whom I can email about events, updates, blog posts, etc. People who want to hear back.

This computer system, basically a specialised Customer Relationship Management  system (CRM) handles the grunt work and allows James Smith to focus on the politics. This is brilliant. Here’s my question: why aren’t all the main parties providing a system like this to their candidates as a routine matter?

While some candidate websites were great and very informative, many were terrible with very little useful content.

Basically, while I appreciate that there is and will always be a heavy offline component to campaigning, in this age so many people want to easily look up information online, and digital technologies can help so much. Why would parties pass on that opportunity?