PR experts wary of NHL’s public apology to fans

In full-page ads on Thursday, the National Hockey League said it was sorry for the lockout. Various public relations professionals are skeptical.

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Lance Armstrong is giving Oprah his highly anticipated apology, as Pete Rose hopes to regain public favor—and that of the Baseball Hall of Fame—with his new reality TV show “Hits and Mrs.

On Thursday, the National Hockey League joined the chorus with an apology in full-page ads in major daily newspapers across North America.

Although the NHL’s turn at remorse generally follows good crisis communication principles, several crisis PR professionals remained skeptical of the mea culpa.

“The ad from the NHL is a case of a little too late,” says communications blogger, Jeff Esposito. “As a fan, am I happy to see hockey back? Yes, but at the same time, they will not earn one of my hard earned dollars this year.

With the season ready to roll after a lengthy lockout, the formal letter to fans follows the verbal apology by commissioner Gary Bettman. The tone of the apology published on Thursday strives at sincerity and attempts to create mutual understanding with its fans.

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