One of the more exciting parts of my job is working on brand development and partner relationships. Ethos3 is in the middle of a brand consolidation and update which should wrap up in a couple of weeks.
Late last week, we received an email from one of our corporate partners expressing frustration about an article they found while searching for some information on Ethos3.
The first result was a blog post published on one of Ethos3’s other web properties that’s in the process of being consolidated under the main blog. As part of the consolidation, our blog software (WordPress for those who care) changed the “posted on” date to a more recent date giving the appearance that it was just created.
While the post in question was not negative in any way, it was dated and contained incomplete information from prior to the partnership. The CEO expressed his concern that perhaps we didn’t understand the value proposition of the relationship.
His concern was understandable as we’re supposed to be working closely with them to help each others’ businesses grow.
Is This A Problem?
If you look at this as a problem, the questions then become, “How can we smooth this over? How should we respond? Should we remove the offending post?”
Once you go on damage control, you’re on the defensive. Opportunity doesn’t happen when you’re thinking defensively. You manage in crisis, you lead in opportunity.
Shift Your Perspective
However, we saw an opportunity.
We sent a letter to the CEO apologizing for the confusion, briefly explained what happened, and let him know the post would remain. Then, we offered up a chance for him to appear on our new presentation TV channel called E3 TV which will be launching in the next couple of weeks. We thought it would be great if we conducted a Skype interview with him during which we could discuss the benefits of his company’s service along with the tremendous evolution since the original post was written.
He gladly accepted and we now have a stronger relationship with our partner along with a great episode of E3 TV planned.
Sure an apology letter alone would have “smoothed things over.” But we wanted to use this as an opportunity to deepen that relationship and demonstrate our commitment to the partnership.
Question: Take a moment to look at your work or personal environment. Where are there problems that could use a good perspective shift? Is there a different way of looking at this “problem” to actually move from damage control to opportunity development?