From Emily Post, 7 rules for avoiding PR faux pas

The definitive guide to etiquette extends far beyond proper invitations for various occasions and knowing how to use a finger bowl.

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This quote of hers, for instance, is perfectly relevant today: “Nothing is less important than which fork you use. Etiquette is the science of living. It embraces everything. It is ethics. It is honor.”

Many PR crises are created, or made worse, when someone in the public eye disregards basic rules of etiquette. If you think that sounds quaint, look at these examples. Then pass this post along to the executives or clients who handle press calls, address media conferences, or speak in front of cameras. (Oh, and warn them to expect that the camera will be rolling and their microphone will be live—always!)

1. Show responsibility. Here’s a classic way to tell when someone is breaking this rule: Just listen for sentences missing specific doers, names, or the active voice. “Mistakes were made.” “Laws were broken.” Well, by whom?

This rule can also get cast aside when apologies veer off track.

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