27th June 2021
20th December 2012 - Saying sorry is a great way to defuse a PR gaffe
I’m so impressed with a lady called Sally for turning a right royal cock-up into a PR triumph – simply by calling me to say sorry.
I know it’s a small thing but I was well hacked off when my contact details appeared in the CC line of a round robin email by Sally’s company wishing its customers a Happy Christmas and also outlining its opening hours over the festive period.
Given the nature of its business, I guess the email has torpedoed the company’s client confidentiality and I suspect it’s also fallen foul of data protection guidelines: both of which might come back to bite them on the bum.
However, the fact that Sally picked up the phone straightaway to say sorry took real guts. As a result, she has turned me round from being peed off to actually having sympathy and sense of admiration for the level of bravery it took to make the call.
The moral of this little story is that every business will screw up at some point and it’s not what they did that is the measure of the company, but how well they deal with a disaster, starting by saying sorry. And, as every PR person will know, companies that handle a crisis well actually come out even better in the long run.
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