Cancer · Charity · Opinion

How Poor SEO Approaches Can Damage a Brand and the Implication if That “Brand” is a Leading Cancer Charity

I don’t want this blog to turn into a long list of posts where I moan about SEOs, but I had an approach yesterday that had me bashing my head against a wall.

It started well –

“Hope you’re well. I just wanted to get in touch to ask about your policy on guest posting on Mum’s the Word. I’m working with Cancer Research UK, to build awareness of the breast cancer help and resources offered on their site. We’re doing this chiefly by putting together some informative articles on related topics and working with bloggers like yourself to publish them on selected sites around the web, and I was wondering if you’d be open to running such a post?”

Then took a rapid turn for the worse –

“I do appreciate that it’s a difficult topic, and that it’s not the sort of subject matter that you’ve typically covered on Mum’s the Word, but it’d be great to work with you on this if you would be willing to consider publishing the piece.”

See, if this SEO guy had done even a modicum of research then he’d have realised that this is EXACTLY the sort of post I publish on my blog, in fact I already have several on this very topic.

If he’d used the tiniest amount of initiative or imagination, he might’ve typed the word ‘cancer’ into the very simple and prominently placed search bar at the side of the page and come up with no less than a dozen posts around the subject.

If he’d thought to engage his, no doubt, elite search skills he’d have realised that in 2011, my Stepmum lost her battle with cancer and I spent a long time trying to get my head around it, trying to work out how to process it, how to guide my infant daughter through it all and how to get our lives back on track afterwards. He’d have seen that I now run Race for Life every year in Lorraine’s memory and that I do as much for Cancer Research as I can.

This isn’t the first time I’ve dealt with poor marketing from this particular charity and I can’t help but wonder who makes the decisions regarding their marketing budget, given that they’re using aggressive telephone sales people and insensitive SEOs.

The sad part is, (as my friend Ruth mentioned after I shared with some blogger friends how sad I was about all of this) if they were to be a bit more sensible and use what would probably equate to a minute portion  of their marketing budget to employ bloggers to help them with their blogger outreach programme I’m 100% certain that they’d be a lot more successful and would circumvent the very real risk of alienating a lot of people.

As I pointed out in my reply to this person, just off of the top of my head I know one blogger who’s child is battling leukemia, one who’s Mum has beaten breast cancer and several others who lost friends or family to this horrible disease and I hope to goodness he hasn’t used the same approach with them that he did with me.

Over to you, Cancer Research

(I’m including follow links to the Cancer Research page in this post. Despite me criticising their approach, I think they’re a great charity and support them wholeheartedly)

8 thoughts on “How Poor SEO Approaches Can Damage a Brand and the Implication if That “Brand” is a Leading Cancer Charity

  1. It’s pure laziness. And I’m glad they’ve taken notice of this post, and will be looking into it (AKA giving the SEO bloke a good talking to – and hopefully some basic training).
    I’m going to a job interview on Thursday, to work in press and marketing for a charity. I hope to God if I don’t get this particular job I will eventually get something similar. I think every charity should have at least one journalist/blogger working for them, advising on how to make the right approaches.
    It’s hardly rocket science to ACTUALLY READ A BLOG before you approach the blogger. But so many seem to miss that point.

  2. Hi Jayne

    We’re really sorry this happened.

    As you’ll know, SEO is really important to us to help our supporters to connect with our health and science content so we really value our relationships with bloggers like you. We’re looking into why it happened and sorry if the approach was ill-informed.

  3. You’d think to be more sensitive would be a given, given the sensitivity of the subject. I’m so sorry you were subjected to this and hope you have sent them an email with your thoughts and/ or a link to this. I think you’ve been remarkably restrained considering everything.

  4. From companies to charities people who employ SEOs need to start questioning how they intend to get results and take more responsibilty for who they emply. The whole ‘we did not know’ response is wholly unacceptable, if it is your brand name or charity name you should know.

    There endeth my rant

  5. Shocking. And oh so damaging.

    And yet another example of an SEO getting it wrong. Just wrong.

    I had one last week from an SEO company saying how much he loved “my” blog and would love to work with “me” as he thought my blog was just the sort of place he wanted to put content.

    Except he got his copy and paste wrong and included Multiple Mummy, not MummyBarrow. You can imagine my response to him I am sure.

    I am fed up with SEOs being thoughtless shits.

    There, that is how cross they make me. I am swearing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.