In times of crisis a quick response is necessary, especially with the speed at which a Twitter post or Facebook flop can go viral. Sometimes a public apology for mistakes made by corporations is the clearest and most advisable path when dealing with a reputation management crisis. A Washington Post article eloquently discussed the shift in crisis strategy toward apologies and moving past that crisis to begin regaining credibility.
It is especially vital, in times of elevated crisis, to admit mistakes, show humility and (when appropriate) ask forgiveness. But beware: an apology isn’t necessarily a quick fix. An apology is only successful if it is heartfelt, meaningful and without whining or finger-pointing. A corporate apology should also come from a human being, someone who has a leading role at that corporation.
A successful crisis response can open the doors to opportunities as well. Regaining credibility and standing out as an open, honest and trustworthy company can garner accolades from new and current customers. We no longer work in a world where past indiscretions get buried and disappear. These days a faux pas can grow and live forever in the online world.
You may remember one of my posts about the mistakes made by Netflix when they rebranded half of their business to Quikster (a business mistake that has already been put in the back drawer with the demise of Quikster). This article also touches on the Netflix response.