SEO v CEO in a crisis?
Crisis management consultants will often prioritise briefing the chief executive when a crisis hits.
That kind of crisis communication belongs to a bygone age!
Why aren’t they first speaking to their SEO experts or specialists to start optimising every piece of content they plan to release regarding the crisis (including any statement made by the CEO)?Why? Well, many businesses still use a historic media and crisis communication model, rather than a contemporarily configured one.
You see, in modern crises, critics and detractors publish incessantly, inaccurately, and certainly more frequently than the under-the-cosh corporate. Crisis management consultants Australia, often lose fair share of voice, almost as soon as the crisis breaks.
This is particularly damaging for social media crisis management!
Think about modern crises:
Online channels pick up much of the early, frequently erroneous, content. Due to the source traffic volumes and search engine rankings, this ‘wrong’ content infiltrates search engine results. And as over 90% of online searchers click on the highest-ranking webpages and sites first, ‘the fix’ is often in!
It’s reckoned that 33% of search users won’t even go past the first ‘organic’ story on Google’s first page!
In terms of message spread and traction, your chief executive is easily outgunned by speed, by speculation and by volume of overwhelmingly critical search engine optimised content. As a consequence, the effectiveness and impact of the chief executive in a crisis is fast being overtaken by the pre-eminent role of search engines (and SEO) in ‘framing the crisis narrative’.
Our crisis simulator clearly outline the new rules of crisis communications!
When a crisis breaks, many people trust search engines to help them divine which channel they’ll follow for news on the incident information. So the big challenge facing brands-in-disaster is: ”Who are crisis followers listening to?” (And by association, “how do we get them to listen to us?”) And Google Search is the most ‘trusted’ source of information currently! Certainly, more trusted than your CEO who (we all suspect) may have interest in protecting their salary, status and performance bonuses!
In only grooming and training your chief executive to perform for traditional news outlets, your company cedes influence to a process that sees them lose narrative relevance as soon as the crisis breaks.
Given the changes in our information, news and content sharing environments, the importance and impact of good SEO is an absolute mandatory in determining a fairer share of how the story is created, disseminated and located.
(c) Gerry McCusker, Crisis Solutions Expert