The tone of your question suggests that you don’t entirely blame your employee for his/her actions. There are a number of reasons why this could be the case. Maybe your employee was unclear about the instructions and did his/her best to execute. Maybe your employee’s comments were taken out of context, or manipulated by an outside party. Or, maybe your employee simply made a mistake.
In these situations, as in all crisis situations, it’s best to be honest. Level with your audience. Get your side of the story out first, and as soon as possible. Make it clear that a mistake was made, and that steps will be taken immediately to ameliorate any negative consequences. If your employee truly made an honest mistake and doesn’t deserve to lose his/her job, tell people that, too. People respect organizations that treat their employees well. Oftentimes, blaming an employee is a superficial reaction to a deeper problem within your organization and your audience will recognize that.
That said, if your employee’s action was really egregious, it’s okay to be honest about where fault lies. Your organization shouldn’t take the fall for a rogue employee’s poor judgment. Regardless of your decision, if you can project confidence in your organization’s ability to fix its mistakes, you will come out looking stronger for it.
Stay on message,