Dark websites are a strategic crisis management strategy used in high-profile crisis situations by large organizations who want to position themselves as the leading source of information throughout the crisis.
Although they can be counter-productive when used by the wrong types of companies and in the wrong types of crisis situations, there are some organizations, industries and crisis scenarios where a dark website should be used as a preferred practice. These industries and organizations include:
- Airlines and transportation companies
- Cities, communities and government departments
- Hospitals and health care institutions
- Oil, gas and energy industry
- Pharmaceutical companies
However, just because your organization doesn’t fit in one of the above listed industries, doesn’t mean that a dark website won’t benefit your brand in a crisis – or that there aren’t alternatives out there that will be more beneficial to your crisis communications.
This white paper explores:
- The benefits of having a dark website
- Best and worst practices of the dark website as a crisis management strategy
- Which corporations are most likely to benefit from this strategy – and in what types of high-profile crisis situations
- What to do if a dark website is not the right crisis communications strategy for your brand
What is a dark website?
A dark website is a pre-developed website that is not set live until your organization finds itself in the midst of a crisis. Pre-crisis, a dark website is developed with the appropriate legal and other documentations that will be needed, but that you will not have the opportunity to acquire during an attack. In the event of a crisis, the dark website is set live and the appropriate information and details are added to it – such as communications to the public, direct information, news concerning both the crisis and the brand, etc.
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