Part 3: Three types of websites that hurt your brand in a crisis

Your website is a powerful tool for communicating and connecting with audiences.

Keeping it fresh and functioning allows you to position your brand in the world, share key messaging and information, and communicate your values. In times of crisis, it can also be a lifeline for your business, keeping your customers updated on the essential news and details they need to understand how you can help them, how you’re helping others, or even to keep working with you.

Yet, all too often, websites become an afterthought, failing to serve their brands in reaching their goals and objectives. The top challenges we see for effective websites include:

The frozen-in-time site.

A perfect snapshot from the moment a website went live, some brands keep their websites in the exact condition in which they received them. This usually happens when a business doesn’t know how to update their site, doesn’t have staff to dedicate to maintaining it, or received a site built in a too-complicated structure from their website contractor.

For crisis communications: This is especially problematic during a crisis as websites are a fast way to communicate changes and updates to audiences. When a visitor goes to a site for updated hours, news, or other key information and sees information that does not reflect the current reality, you can damage your credibility well beyond the crisis timeframe.

The complete-chaos site.

Unlike the frozen-in-time websites, new content is added to these sites so often that little thought is given to the original intention of its design and user experience plan. Usually, these websites are maintained by someone inside the company who is expected to put up every piece of information they receive but has no marketing or website experience to ensure content is strategic, appropriate or styled correctly.

For crisis communications: This is a problem in a crisis because the chaotic, messy nature of the site has lost its organizational structure. New and important information gets lost and audiences get frustrated.

The outdated-technology site.

Websites age fast. Technology changes and new consumer devices demand constant vigilance. Failing to keep up on platform updates, evolving user expectations, or increased security demands can render your website obsolete to your potential customers in the blink of an eye.

For crisis communications: This can be a challenge in a crisis because it can limit adding new content, updating messaging for the current reality, and, even, degrading trust in the brand by not offering the basic experiences or safeguards audiences expect.

When left unattended, websites become stale, outdated, and, worse, detrimental to reaching a brand’s changing goals.

So, now that you have revisited your business’s strategy and reset your brand, what should you do to ensure your website functions at peak performance and reaches your current and potential customers effectively?



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