Part two of Gerry McCusker’s guest piece (pictured below), author of PR Disasters and founder/principal advisor at Engage ORM, argues we should be re-planting our ‘hyperlink graveyards’ as a priority over trying to fuel chitter-chatter on social silos.
Last week, I suggested that a list of text-driven hyperlinks on the news page of a website –perhaps not updated for months, sometimes years – was not a particularly effective way to engage and inform online stakeholders: nor to manage or drive the news reporting narrative. Calling it a news page, in fact, could almost get you in trouble with the Ad Standards Bureau.
So, I passionately believe you need to re-plant your ‘hyperlink graveyards’. In fact, I’d do it as a priority over trying to fuel chitter-chatter on social silos.
Make your website as valuable as social channels
Yes people; your website can become vital again! Re-animated (especially as social silo visibility creeps towards a pay-per-view model) and equally valuable to your repute, share-ability and SEO visibility than ‘social’ is. Basically, what you must do to your website is liberally infuse ‘social’ throughout your news pages. Why let your social media assets only live in silos?
You see, we need to remind ourselves what news has become; it is updates, posts, photos, geo-locations, reviews – it’s instantaneous. And it’s very visual.
We no longer wait for the morning flop of paper on our doormats, or tune-in on the hour for a radio bulletin, nor do we purchase an ‘evening edition’ to read on the commute home. That’s all from the same era as text-based PR releases. And living in such an old era, is a modern Communications error.
URL cemetery or brand news portal?
Today, most audiences’ concept of news has ‘teched-up’ and dumbed down. News is all about “social” – in its style, by format, on channel and via its interactivity. How does that square with your old ‘URL cemetery’?
Social news also necessitates a fresh approach on how brands and organisations create, curate and disseminate the content needed to maintain rapport, relationships and revenues. This calls for new functionalities.
Now, here’s a great insight from my PR peers at Edelman, whose Trust Barometer surveys over 30,000 folks in almost 30 nations. For the second year running, search engines were deemed the most trusted media source for news; in front of traditional media and way ahead of social.
Publish for social, stakeholders and SEO
So, essentially, if we want “to win the challenge of accurately and productively informing online audiences” you need to be able to publish for and influence search engine finds. But we don’t want to leave out the social scene (particularly given that May 2016 Pew Internet Research says 62 per cent of U.S. adults get their news on social media) like Facebook. And if we can directly e-DM audiences to boot, it’s critical to inform issues when digital journalists start digging around for story angles and perspectives.
All communicators can harness the publishing tenets and technologies that effectively counter misinformation, and adeptly address (even win) the challenge of accurately and productively informing digital stakeholders.
Whether audiences are using search engines or social silos to decide what they think about your business or brand, you must be influencing them with a lot more than a hyperlink graveyard.