How to Issue a Great ApologyEveryone has to say sorry sometime or the other in their lifetime. Yes, even big companies. This great article offers suggestions on how a company can publicly apologize without losing face. A sincere apology from a large corporation has long-term, image-saving effects. Public Relations experts share their tips on crafting the perfect apology. For instance, it’s vital to pick and choose the right words when apologizing. CEOs should not be afraid to use the word ‘sorry’, ‘apologize’ or ‘regret’ as it shows ownership. Be direct and get straight to the point instead of hemming and hawing.

Also, make the apology sound personal. Follow up an apology letter with a phone call or e-mail to check back. Avoid form letters, re-used templates or pre-recorded messages as it makes the recipient feel nameless or faceless or irrelevant. Next, ensure that your timing is right. Don’t let your apology go past its due date. You risk angering your customers. In this age of social media, issue a statement as close to the incident as possible to minimize damage via Facebook, Twitter or, worse, the age old infamous word-of-mouth method. Lastly, end your apology on a positive note by openly telling the recipient what corrective action you will take. This reassures your customers that you are aware of their concerns and want to improve.

Source: Tim Donnelly www.inc.com September 14, 2011

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