Customers at the Northern Rock bank are in a state of panic, that’s clear. So much so that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alastair Darling, has guaranteed the money for all customers of the troubled bank. However, what’s interesting is what has been happening online.
In the past 24 hours, according to Google’s Blog Search, there have been 507 blog posts about Northern Rock. Not one of them, it appears, by Northern Rock itself. What this means is that all the “noise” online is being created by people outside the bank. All the information about Northern Rock and all the publicity is being generated by customers and other interested parties. Yet the bank’s blogging response has been zilch.
Even the Wikpedia article on Northern Rock is up to date with information on the current crisis. But what has Northern Rock’s online response been? A message from the Chief Executive on the front page of the web site and a PDF you can download with more information. This is nowhere near enough.
Part of the panic in the High Street will be due to the fact that people are reading blogs online suggesting they should take their money out. Yet what is Northern Rock’s response – almost online silence. And then they wonder why there are so many negative responses to their situation.
If your company or business wants to ensure the balance of information carried about it online is in your favour then the only way is to out-number the blogs. So, there are 507 blogs about Northern Rock in the past 24 hours, that means they needed to write 508. Sounds difficult? Not really.
This is only a blogging rate of 21 per hour. With existing PR staff and freelance support that would be easy to organise. In most situations, though, businesses won’t have to face such large blogging demands. There may be a handful of blogs criticising your products and services. All you have to do is ensure your business contributes more blog posts.
The result of doing this is the fact that when people search for blogs on your company they will find the balance is in your favour, thus affecting their opinions and views. Looking at blogs on Northern Rock, you can only think one thing – they are in deep doo-doo and they got it wrong. It could have been all so different if they had been blogging like crazy.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+