pr crisis

It happened to me with PR for Anyone, my first PR crisis. The kind that leaves you feeling you’ve been kicked in the stomach and you want to crawl in a hole and cry. But then you realize you have to quickly scoop yourself up and go into crisis management and start fixing what happened.

Somebody with a very large list and a huge following trusted me enough to host a webinar with my content. I set everything up using a new webinar host. I watched all the demos, tested it at least a dozen times and then… Show Time!

Close to 700 people had signed up. We were about 5 minutes from the start time and the emails start flooding in, “the event code isn’t working.” For whatever reason, the event code provided had a bad link and no one could get in. Hundreds of emails were flooding in. So many that I couldn’t respond fast enough.

Are you feeling my horror yet? The blood had drained out of my face and my heart was pounding. What to do?

First crisis somewhat averted. I quickly got a new event code. Jumped in my email list provider and quickly sent everyone the new code. So, we start about 15 minutes late with a fraction of the people, but we were going. I’m calmer, sharing the content when abut 10 minutes in, I hit crisis #2… the hold music comes on and we can’t get it off.

At this point everyone’s dropping off and I know I have 100’s of unhappy people. I’ve got to move quickly so I don’t lose all of these potential customers.

What did I do?

I immediately crafted and sent them all an apology email. Of course this wasn’t done intentionally but people’s time is valuable and I appreciate that. They needed to know that. In the email I gave them all a free gift that corresponded to the webinar topic and would be something they could use with the information on the webinar. I rescheduled the webinar for exactly one week later and manually entered everyone into the system so they wouldn’t be inconvenienced any more. I did everything I could do to make-up for the glitch.

I can’t tell you how many positive responses I received from people who appreciated my efforts in trying to fix the situation. And most of those people came back the following week to listen in.

Now you know why I always say, “Customer service is your best PR”.

What would you have done?

To Your PR Success,