A textbook way to communicate bad news

Campaign Monitor is an excellent site for sending out newsletters.  We use it for our MMD newsletter and it works really well – lots of functions and behind the scenes works well as well.  Email servers are very jumpy about spam and newsletters can often be marked as spam, but if they come from Campaign Monitor’s servers then they usually get through.

However, at the weekend, Campaign Monitor’s servers were hacked into and the hackers sent some of their own spam to some of the account lists that they were storing.  This isn’t great news but Campaign Monitor dealt with it admirably.

For a start, they locked down their servers and did everything the can to stop this happening again.

Then, crucially, they contacted every member of Campaign Monitor to explain what happened, offer their apologies, tell them what the likely impact was and explain what they’re doing to avoid this happening again.  They also blogged about it as well – there was no attempt to avoid the bad publicity.

Their twitterstream is full of replies to people that were concerned about what’s happened.  They’re making a huge effort to deal with every single concern.

If you read the comments of their blog post you’ll see that there are very few criticisms of them.  People appreciated their response and their honesty and shared their upset at what had happened.

For me, this is a textbook example of how to deal with such a situation.  Fix it, minimise the chance of it happening again, tell everyone possibly affected by it and offer profuse apologies and then deal with every subsequent enquiry.

Campaign Monitor have come out of this looking very good indeed.