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5 Quick Ways to Turn a Situation Around When It Blows Up in Your Face

4. Use All Your Channels to Explain

Within 15 minutes, my team and I had a plan, but the truth was no one else knew about it.

Thousands of leaders were left bewildered.

They had no idea what just happened or what we were doing about it.

So, I spent the next few minutes:

  • Jumping on all my social channels (Facebook, Instagram—both stories and main feed, and Twitter) to explain that the webinar server crashed and we were coming up with a new way to get them the free training.
  • Sending out an email to all my subscribers telling them what just happened.

Within 30 minutes of the breakdown, between email and social, we sent the message out to almost 100,000 people.

That way no one was left wondering what happened or filling in the gaps with a story they made up in their head. They knew exactly what happened and that they would get what we promised. And in retrospect, even people who didn’t know the webinar was happening now knew something was going on.

It’s important that your communication be authentic, honest and helpful.

I let them know the web-host failed, I expressed my frustrations, voiced theirs and told them we’d fix it.

The email subject headline was: This completely stinks…but hang on (we have a solution).

It voiced their frustration, some of mine, and pointed toward a better future and solution.

When you’re in a crisis, naming the emotions in the room helps so much. If people know you know how bad it was and you empathize with them, you end up on the same side.

5. Make Your Audience Your Friend

I just think you should use every opportunity you have to love your audience, and crisis gives you one more opportunity to do that.

We wanted to make sure our public tone was such that people felt like we’re in this together. Yes, it’s disappointing, but we’ve got your back. We’ll do anything we can to help you, and we’re going to do it.

I was nervous people would be angry, upset and frustrated at us.

My team and I processed close to 1,000 messages on social and email in those first few hours after the webinar died, and the team was blown away by how positive people were. People were awesome, empathizing with us, and THANKING US for all we were doing to help. I don’t believe we saw one negative email from anyone. Just emails of support and encouragement.

Crazy. (Of course, I need to let you know I have the best audience in the world, so that’s an unfair advantage.)

I think your audience can tell if you’re trying to help them or if, in your frustration, you neglected or abandoned them.

People know whether you love them or not. So leaders, love your people.

Even in a crisis. Especially in a crisis.