Several years ago, CNN reported the story of Jamie Diamond, an employee at a public relations firm, who emailed his boss about how to deal with a client. His boss wrote back about the clients’ incompetence and how they hindered the team’s ability to get anything done. But, oops — the clients received the email as well. They yanked their $5 million account immediately.
“This happens more than we want to think about because it’s so easy to do,” says Alison Doyle, a job search expert for About.com and author of Internet your way to a new job.
So what should you do if a white-hot set of your choicest words lands in the wrong inboxes? Here’s your action plan:
1. Forget About Retrieving It
You can’t “unsend” an email. “That’s a farce,” says David Gitkos, vice president of forensic services for Global Digital Forensics.
2. Ignore It
What? Really? Yes, says Doyle — at first. Don’t go running to the mistaken receivers and draw attention to something they may not have even seen.
3. Apologize — but Only to Your Boss
Again, this is all about pacing yourself and not panicking. If you immediately send out a gushing apology email to the same big group, all you’re doing is emphasizing a blunder that a good portion of them may not have considered a big deal.
4. Do the Full Letterman
Dave’s on-air apology to viewers after his extramarital indiscretion was a model combination of self-deprecation and class. And yours will be, too, if you go face-to-face with the people you’ve offended. Don’t tempt fate by trying to do it via “reply all.”
Meanwhile: Make Sure This Never Happens
Of course, crisis management wouldn’t be necessary had there been no crisis. Part of the problem, says Gitkos, is that people have no understanding of what work email is, how it’s designed, and why.
Read the full article at CBS MoneyWatch: Link