Improve Your Apologies

By Posted in - Public Relations & Uncategorized on March 16th, 2010 0 Comments

Acknowledge. Apologize. Act.

Well, today must be the day to address apologies.  After reading Robbin’s post this morning, I then started to read PRSA’s March issue of TACTICS and saw another mention on how to “Improve Your Apologies.”

It makes sense that apologies are top of mind today – seeing how the best business relationships, partnerships and friendships are all based on trust. (For more on that, you can see Liza’s recent post.)  And isn’t everyone human? Don’t we all make mistakes?  Of course.

For some, apologizing can be such a complex thing.  But it doesn’t have to be, and the following advice* actually is the basis for a great crisis communications approach:

(*This information was sourced from: “Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation and Earn Trust,” by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith.)

  • Acknowledge – Start any apology by telling the person that you accept something happened. “I didn’t meet my deadline.”
  • Apologize – Make sure you clearly and simply say that your sorry, with no excuses tacked on. “I’m sorry, Ellie.”
  • Act – Explain what you’ll do to improve or rectify the situation. “I’ve finished the work now and will better scope my time next time.”

Companies and brands alike can benefit from this simple, straightforward advice.  As consumers, we are willing to accept faults – so long as corporate leaders admit to them and tell us how they plan to move forward while addressing them.

What do you think? Is a heartfelt apology enough to correct a wrong? Is there anything else you can do besides Acknowledge, Apologize and Act?  Let us know what you think.

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