Word Of Advice To Politicians/Candidates: Own Your Online IdentityJune 24, 2012 - Author: newscoma - Comments are closed
Own your online footprint, campers and stay on top of it.
The one thing that many folks are going to do when they meet you or hear that you are running for an elected office is look you up online. If you don’t have a strong online footprint, then you are missing an opportunity to introduce yourself, your positions and your message. (And be sure to put your political affiliation where it is easy to find. I’m talking to you, Democrats.) And if you are smart, you won’t just use your website during an election because you can communicate the entire time you are running for office or keep visible in the public eye when people search your name.
It isn’t hard but so many times people forget that in this day and age, you are being googled and probably more than you think.
The other thing is keep on top of your website. Case in point: Julia Hurley.
From the Knoxville News Sentinel we find that her registration name lapsed and someone else saw an opportunity:
But she also admitted that she didn’t know the registration status of hurleyforhouse.com, launched two years ago during her inaugural campaign, and she didn’t know whether her camp has been maintaining it. It appears someone took over the registration June 16.
“I think that this is dirty politics at its best,” Hurley said. “I think Mr. Calfee should be ashamed of himself and if he did not do it, he should reprimand whoever in his camp did.”
“And if he doesn’t know who did it, he should find out.”
Calfee on Friday said he, too, was surprised to learn of the Hurley campaign site redirect.
First of all, it was Rep. Hurley’s site and she didn’t pay attention so calling it dirty politics is a bit of Word Soup. If you’re a candidate/politician and aren’t aware of online squatting, you should be. Folks are out there that will wait for a domain to become public property and pick those things up immediately, only to sell them back later on for a profit. And it isn’t just politicians that have to deal with this. If it’s your name or your idea, buy it up and hang on to it. If you don’t take care of your online footprint, why should anyone else?
This is the thing that I honestly just don’t get is that these stories come to light and that certain candidates/politicians are stunned when they lose their domain names. If you plan on running for office in 10 years, buy your name now, reserve your twitter name, make sure you are controlling your identity or even your business’ identity online so no one else has it. And don’t do this stuff as an afterthought, make it a priority. Don’t trust it to just anybody, do it yourself. Also, if you are giving your identity to an intern or a staff member, make damned sure that you know what they are doing because your name is on it. Not theirs, yours, so keep that in mind.
As I said, people are going to Google Fu the hell out of you to find out what you are all about. Don’t think they won’t because they will and they do. You want your name to come up first on the Google page when your name is searched in a positive way. And don’t cry foul when someone takes your mistake of not controlling your own story and uses it to their advantage because that is just the way it is.
Control your own story or someone else will, that I can guarantee.