November 16, 2011 by Speakers' Spotlight
Guest blog from Jeff Ansell
Buying your way out of trouble rarely works.
Quite often when a spokesperson panics they try to “bully” their way through the china shop.
It’s a mistake, whether you are rampaging through Wedgewood plates or a phalanx of reporters. When you flail around like a madman, something’s going to get damaged, and it will most likely be your reputation.
Herman Cain is in panic mode, as evidenced by his naive assumption he can do or say whatever he wants face to face with journalists, and then simply fix it by futilely buying space on Google to prevent people who search his name from seeing information he’s desperate to hide.
Buying search results to divert people to the information you want them to see is like trying to drain the ocean. As soon as you pump out one bucket of dirty water, ten more gallons rush in to take its place.
During the week of November 7, 2011, presidential hopeful Herman Cain bought adwords from Google that would pop up when anyone searched the keywords, “Cain Sharon Bialek.” Bialek is one of the women accusing Cain of sexual harassment.
Cain was trying to GAME the system, and it worked, for about ten seconds mid-week, but the reality is that people doing Google searches look first to the “organic” search results, not paid advertising. Someone in the Cain camp naively thought the average person would blindly ignore everything being published about Cain in the mainstream news and in the center “organic” Google column.
Not only would the ad-buy have cost Cain a fortune, money which would have been better spent on his campaign promoting positive stories, but the ad-buy was also very short-lived.
Instead of trying to hide information, Cain should have dissipated the allegations as soon as they popped up. He could have told people about all the good he would do when he’s president, and issued statements like “Because of political correctness, Americans are so careful about what they say that our freedom of speech is in jeopardy. Twenty years ago I made the mistake of complimenting women on their appearance” – providing that’s all he did.
Cain instead acted like he was guilty and tried to hide what everyone was saying about him.
The link below will take you to a story on a New York Times blog, The Caucus, written by Jennifer Preston that explains in detail how Cain “bought” and tried to direct the masses to his version of the story published on the official Cain web site entitled, “Get the Truth About Herman Cain.”