April 30, 2013
Today’s 24/7 news and information cycle can help organizations spread the news of a good review. Of course, it swings the other way as well. News — good and bad — travels faster than ever, fueled also by Twitter, Facebook and other social media. As noted in Crisis Communications: Preparing Your Plan, being prepared is crucial when news breaks affecting your industry. When your customers, suppliers, stakeholders and other audiences seek out more information about what they have heard or seen in media, 85 percent of the time they turn to search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing. You may be prepared with the traditional preparation of standby statements, Q&As, testimonials, case studies, spokespeople, images and the press release. You should also consider a Google Ad Buy.
Google Text Ads are advertisements that appear next to Google’s search results based on keywords you determine. They link to your website or social media page and can be bought at any budget. They can help you with all four steps of a crisis communications response:
- Prevention – Build a foundation now with favorable news to share.
- Preparation – Well before a crisis begins, write ads for a variety of potential scenarios and have them approved and ready to go at a moment’s notice.
- Response – As you observe the ad buy metrics, adjust your keyword selection and budget. If the issue changes, write new headlines and descriptions and add them to the buy.
- Recovery –After the crisis is over, you may want to explain what is being done now, or how you have improved your product or service as a result.
Every issue is different. How you handle the steps, what you say, how long you run the ads and how much you spend will vary. At the end of the day, you have tried to stem the tide and influence the conversation. By having your side of the story displayed, you may have averted a greater negative groundswell.
You can practice the same method in Yahoo or Bing and in Facebook, Twitter and YouTube with ads “on the ready” — an especially important tactic as many people get their news first from social media.