The battle for the White House is fought on a variety of fronts. While candidates scramble from swing state to swing state, supporters, activists and pranksters find unattended web domains to spread their own messages. The campaign of presidential candidate Jeb Bush, who also happens to be the former governor of Florida, who also happens to be part of a notable political family that features two of the last four U.S presidents, made, perhaps, the most stunning gaffe we’ve seen in quite some time. A guy who should know a lot about managing his good name failed to purchase his own domain, JebBush.com. And while his campaign uses Jeb2016.com, they have inexplicably opted to not purchase JebBush.com. This misstep went largely unnoticed until the fall of 2015 when someone who shall remain nameless bought the site and built a splash page that subsequently redirects visitors to DonaldJTrump.com. By nameless, I actually do mean nameless, the Trump campaign denies any involvement in the website trickery.
While this is not the only instance where a political candidate’s website namesake has been turned against them, see TedCruz.com, BernieforPresident.com and CarlyFiorina.org, this is easily the most striking and least timely for the candidate in question. Bush is currently lagging in the polls behind, you guessed it.
In business and in politics, we all have competitors. While things aren’t always as contentious as the battle for the republican nomination, maintaining a positive reputation is key. The components for doing that include your actions offline, being aware of how they are presented online and meticulous maintenance. Maintenance, at times, gets overlooked because it’s not the sexy part of branding or reputation management. It’s not “shaking hands and kissing babies” and it’s not creating. However, the acts of making sure social media accounts provide accurate information, that links on your website are active and your website is optimized ensures that the right people reach you and that the message that you convey is as intended. The act of owning all the appropriate domains that reflect you or your company’s name can prevent competitors from having an opportunity to steer customers away from you.
As part of Absolute Marketing Solutions’ reputation management services, we recommend to our clients that they purchase the domain names of all their key executives. We recommend this because if you don’t own your domain names, someone else will. What they come up with may not be favorable to you or your brand.
Beyond sending people away from JebBush.com and to a competitor site, the website prank makes the Bush campaign look uninformed and in an arena where being the “smartest guy in the room” is most highly valued.
No one ever said it was easy running a political campaign, but to win over voters, attention to detail is as important as that awesome picture of you reading to children or nailing the question that was posted to CNN’s Instagram during the debate. There’s no room for error and this one is a killer.
To learn more about how we can bolster or preserve the reputations of you or your company, contact us or call us at 888-908-6862.