Have you ever heard the following expression?
“What happens in Vegas stays on the Internet”
Well, it doesn’t just apply to what happens in Vegas. David Meerman Scott recently wrote a good article about not deleting your content because it should live forever and this needs to apply to your crisis communications as well.
As much as, once a crisis situation is deemed over, you may be inclined to go in and delete all your crisis responses and crisis communications from your blog, website and everywhere else, don’t!
Why you shouldn’t delete your crisis communications once the crisis is over
There may be some big potential repercussions to such actions
Whether it’s next week, next month or next year, somebody new will come across the issue you recently faced and want to learn more. You’d better believe that they will find reference to the issue on third party websites, whether it’s the offending content itself or blogs and articles that others wrote about your brand while the issue was taking place. Why would you not want them to find your side of the story as well – especially if you did a good job at communicating to your stakeholders throughout the crisis? Why wouldn’t you want those communications and responses to be found?
Now, what if the person looking for more information on the past issue is a prospective client? What if they’re a blogger or reporter? Is it worth losing a potential client over, or having an unknowing reporter or blogger open up a whole new can of worms with a blog post or article talking about your brand as an example of poor crisis communications? I very strongly think not.
During the crisis, others most certainly wrote about the issue, your brand and linked to your brand’s response. By deleting all of your crisis communications and responses, you’re breaking countless amounts of links that people will be interested in clicking on, now and in the future. This is certainly not good for your brand image.
So as much as you may be tempted to delete all history of the crisis you just experienced, as you can see, it’s not worth it. However, nothing’s preventing you from taking those communications and responses and putting them somewhere a little less “in your face” on your website or home base.
Important: Don’t forget to create those all-important 301 redirects if and when you do this. Without those 301 redirects, all of the above still becomes true.
Author of Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World, Melissa Agnes is a leading authority on crisis preparedness, reputation management, and brand protection. Agnes is a coveted keynote speaker, commentator, and advisor to some of today’s leading organizations faced with the greatest risks. Learn more about Melissa and her work here.