How to say ‘I’m sorry’ and make it stick

Love may mean never having to say ‘I’m sorry,’ but organizations can’t afford to flub their apologies. Here’s how to get them right.

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Pepsi. Adidas. The White House. Don’t forget the poster child of poor apologies, United.

This is nothing new. Organizations can and will make mistakes.

Although you may feel you’ve read enough about these latest public relations nightmares, one area you might want to focus is on the importance of the apology.

As communicators, we help organization develop messages for all types of scenarios. One of the most crucial roles we play is working with our clients to formulate a decent apology.

It’s not about just simply saying, “I’m sorry” and moving on. A poor apology can be worse than no apology. An apology must include certain key elements in order for the public to accept it—and to maintain your brand’s good standing with customers.

In recent weeks we’ve watched many brands apologize, but not all of them scored an “A” in the mea culpa department.

What goes into a good apology? Remember these five elements:

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