By Brian Copeland
Last week was a tough week for all of us here in Nashville, Tennessee (and even beyond the city). As flood waters hit a 500-year record high, I saw the city I love quickly submerge. It’s hard to even write this blog, because every word I type makes my eyes fill with tears. Sunday met me with a buyer in escrow running into my personal home in a panic because, first, he just witnessed a drowning, second, his mother was climbing shelves at her place of employment to escape water and third (and least important to him) his future home was potentially under water.
In times like the current for me, I’ve learned a valuable lesson about serving not only with your sweat, but with your technology. Luckily, I’ve built a blog that has amazing search engine indexability. I immediately turned it into an information hoarding zone for flood victims. Watching my analytics hit in the 1,000s-levels in a few minutes would normally have me jumping for joy for the search engine optimization. These days, it makes my heart sink to see someone hit my site to find information after a search on: “We lost everything in the Nashville flood.” One of our city councilmen named my site as one of the three to watch (outside of city and volunteer center blogs) to get information. It’s a big responsibility and service that has made me work my business in a different way right now.
I hope you never experience what we are experiencing now in the city I love so much. However, if you do, I hope you’ll remember the following tips:
1. Have the relationships in place to be able to help others. Your clients will look to you as a source of guidance.
2. Abandon your blogging, twitter and facebook for self-promotion. Move into a media source mode. Be smart with what you post, making sure it is legal, accurate, and sensitive.
3. Think like a person in the victim situation would think. What questions will they be asking tomorrow?
4. Name your posts exactly how the public will be searching for the information. For example, “FEMA Process for Nashville Flood Assistance.”
I recently wrote a new class called, “Taking a CNN Approach to your Blog.” Little did I know what that would mean to me when I wrote the course. Now, I’ll be sharing it through an entirely new set of eyes. I hope you will, too, if you ever find yourself in our place. For now, pray for Music City USA. Keep confidence in us. Our community spirit is strong, and our people are amazing.