(This is a cross-post from Steffen’s blog)
If there’s an issue that’s impacting your organisation around which you want to orchestrate a shift in opinion or behavioural change amongst a set of people large or small, it’s not enough to do the right thing and explain it effectively. Two factors play a part here:
1. People don’t trust you. Trust in pretty much every sort of organisation is at rock bottom and falling, so people will need to hear it from others to buy into what you do and say.
2. With regards to the web in particular, search. You can’t push your content, people will find what they want; such is the nature of the web – meaning that it’s quite likely that they’ll pick another site out of the thousands that show up in Google.
So what do you do about it? Beyond doing and saying “the right thing” (not so easy in itself) and a solid media relations set-up, you’ll need to become ubiquitous online. What does that mean? That your web tentacles reach far beyond your own web presence. Others communicating around your issue should be talking about you so that when people are on the aforementioned ‘other’ site on your issue that they’ve found on Google, you’re present too.
How do you make it happen? You’ll need to know who all the other players are on your issue and communicate with them in mind rather than hollering in a void. Reference their content or even feature them in person, comment on their content in your own output, and make sure you’re giving your input wherever you can on other platforms. Assuming – again – that your message is solid, people will take notice and will soon start talking about you, giving you the third-party credibility you crave (assuming they’re being nice!) and giving you airtime in other places where people might land.
Will it come easy? No, Rome wasn’t built in a day – it’ll be a slog, but you won’t regret it.