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How to Make Your Apologies Meaningful
February 26, 2015
You know the saying, “no press is bad press”? Well, we believe it all depends on how you handle that press. Everyone makes mistakes, but when you’re constantly in the public eye these mistakes often make headlines — think Brian Williams’ recent slip up. When you’ve disappointed someone and broken their trust, the most important coping mechanism is the apology.
We’ve compiled a few ideas on how to win back your audience and help them to forgive and forget as soon as possible.
1. Keep it simple. PR Daily’s article, “Apologizing? Keep it real,” explains that when giving your apology, use everyday words. By doing this, it makes you seem more sincere and less guilty. The article mentions Brian Williams’ statement, “I think the constant viewing of the video showing us inspecting the impact area — and the fog of memory over 12 years — made me conflate the two, and I apologize.” The word “conflate” makes the statement sound overly scripted and causes the reader to question if the apology is genuine.
2. Keep it short. These unfortunate situations often lead to many questions, press conferences and constant badgering by the media to unveil the truth. It is crucial to keep your apology concise. Long winded answers that aim to explain every detail of the story often convince the audience that you’re trying to defend your lie with more lies.
3. Be prepared. During this time, the press is going to try to wear you down. They are desperate to know the truth and deliver a story to the public. You must be prepared to handle this with confidence. You may be asked absurd questions and be falsely accused, but it is important to keep your cool under the immense pressure.
It is important to note that these situations are often inevitable and not everything will go as planned. Being sincere will remind your audience that you are human and everyone gets caught up in situations that are not ideal. Hopefully, the above tips can guide you in the right direction to forgiveness. And as we’ve all learned, honesty is the best policy.