Earlier in the week we posted on this blog about WikiLeaks and business continuity. Honestly, this is a topic that I never thought we’d be writing about: WikiLeaks. As mentioned in our recent post, most of the WikiLeak announcements didn’t register on our radar, and I thought we’d be writing only one post about this popular topic. Until I read Thursday’s Globe and Mail…

An article in this national daily newspaper caught my attention.  It’s about a Toronto company that, by virtue of a typo, was caught in the middle of the WikiLeaks storm.  Toronto-based EasyDNS was confused for a company called EveryDNS in a blog post about the WikiLeaks brouhaha.  The result of this confusion over company names means EasyDNS is busy defending itself against customers who are upset with this association with WikiLeaks (one that did not exist before the spelling error…).

So what does this mean for you?

How would your company react to a similar mistake that has the potential to close your business and jeopardize your relationship with happy clients?  You need to react as EasyDNS did – with an immediate response plan.  I don’t know if EasyDNS has a business continuity plan that includes how to respond to mistakes in the media and on the Internet, but the company reacted quickly and efficiently.  This type of response is not something you can pull together on the fly; it needs approval from senior management, legal advisors, and your board of directors.

Now what?

Quite simply, act now. If you’re thinking that this can’t possibly happen to you, think of all the blog posts, Twitter feeds, and Facebook posts you read.  Now think of all the spelling errors, mistakes in accuracy, and just general errors in all of these posts.  Exactly!  Now you’re thinking this could happen to you.

You need to be prepared.  Take a second and open your business continuity plan.  Do you have a plan of action for cases such as this?  No?  Well, I suggest you gather your key personnel for a quick meeting to address this.  Perhaps it would be smart to send out a link to this blog post and the corresponding article from the Globe and Mail.

The result of your meeting should be a press release that you can use in events such as this. In addition, there should be a contact list that includes your legal team and key media contacts at major news outlets.

I’m sure the president of EasyDNS never expected to be caught up in a WikiLeaks storm or case of mistaken identity.  Luckily the company reacted quickly to turn a negative into a positive.  With your business continuity plan in place, you can do the same.

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