If you are running for local office, consider creating a Google account for your campaign. You may have your own Gmail account, but creating a new Google account for your campaign will help you separate your personal activities. Many candidates create a campaign Gmail account long before they publicly announce their campaign.
When you create a Gmail account, it also allows you to create a Google account at the same time. A campaign Google account provides you with access to a large number of tools, including:
- Gmail: Gmail is a free email account with a large storage capacity. You can manage your emails by classifying them under different labels (groups), you can search within your mailbox. Your Gmail account also ties into other Google services seamlessly. Having a central email account keeps communications in a central location.
- Google Analytics: Understanding visitor behavior is the key to a strong campaign website. Google Analytics shows you how visitors are interacting with your site in a variety of ways. With Analytics, you can learn more about your online donations, volunteers, and what drives your site’s traffic.
- Google Adwords: As your campaign gets going, you can use Adwords to promote your campaign and specifically target voters by location and by searches. Display advertising helps you put your message in front of voters who are interested in you. Online advertising helps build awareness and can even help with your GOTV efforts.
- Google Calendar: Use this organizing tool to share your schedule with your campaign staff and contacts. You can integrate your calendar with Gmail and view your schedule from within your mailbox.
- YouTube: Upload campaign videos to the world’s largest video portal using your Google account. Uploaded videos can be embedded into the pages of your campaign website. Many campaigns are shifting their focus from traditional TV ads to online video.
- Google Docs: With this free platform, you can create your own documents, spreadsheets, presentations and forms that accept user input. You can share these documents with others. It makes working on items a lot easier and more secure from a central location, rather than relying on email back and forth.
Additional tools can also be of use to your campaign, such as Webmaster Tools, Google+, Hangouts and more.
You can create your own Google account at https://accounts.google.com/.