LinkedIn is a wonderful community of professional connections and associations. It’s very engaged, versatile, and always abuzz about things that are relevant.

It makes sense that managing such a community is no small feat, and many people work together to ensure that the network lives up to professional standards demanded by users.

Recently, LinkedIn sent out an email inviting me to participate in a research study. Unfortunately, the link in the email was invalid, and it was a cause for concern: maybe this was a spam email.

As soon as LinkedIn discovered this problem, they sent an email out stating that this email was sent in error. Here’s the email:

Dear Tabish Bhimani,

You may have recently received an e-mail from LinkedIn inviting you to participate in a research study. This e-mail was, in fact, sent by LinkedIn, but unfortunately, it did not have a working link included in the email. Please note this was not a spam email, but rather, it was something that was sent to you in error. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience.

LinkedIn does periodically invite members to take part in online research studies, and I hope you will consider participating in future research projects to which you may be invited.

Again, please accept our apologies for this error.

Brian Thome
Manager of Member Engagement, LinkedIn Research Network

Mr. Thome systematically corrected the problem. First, by allaying worries that the email may have been spam. It was indeed sent by LinkedIn. Second, an apology. Third, the nature of LinkedIn Research emails. Fourth a second apology.

While I don’t see a major crisis issue here for the company, I thought that this email had elements of the best form of management: active response, engaging with community concerns.

The take away: Honesty, openness, and transparent communications with a timely response are the most effective form of crisis management, and in this case, created a positive crisis PR buzz.

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