How Not To Handle a Hacking … Or an Outage … Or a Hiccup

A local financial institution imploded last night, taking with it all the funds of its members

Of course thats not what really happened.

In the world of fake news, Russian hackers, North Korean hackers, malware, alternative facts, and social media, the world ends several times a day.

Because: Fear.

That’s what fear does.

Fear makes the irrational seem acceptable. Fear makes the unbelievable suddenly fact. Fear makes the worst possible outcome the only possible outcome.

The financial institution I mentioned had an outage. They were not hacked. They did not close. They did not steal all their member’s money.

Their Twitter feed was noticeably silent during the entire situation; the responses assuring members that nothing was wrong started rolling in a full 12-hours later (bankers hours, you know).

How do you handle yourself amidst the fear of others?

What can you to to offer assurances during the fear? How can you squelch the false narrative; the fake news that is driving fear?

Over communicate.

Communicate often. Communicate clearly. Communicate peace. Communicate empathy. Communicate assurances. Communicate acknowledgements.

Then do it all over again.

Just when you think you’ve done enough, do it again.

Post messages on your website, social media (all of them), respond to each inquiry, email, use the mobile app to push a message, send a smoke signal, recruit a flock of messenger pigeons to reach the outliers.

Fear makes people assume the worst. When we are quiet, we are silently affirming those fears in the minds of the fearful.