Another week, another person unwittingly falls foul of the internet mob. This time an unfortunate executive from PR firm Weber Shandwick who managed to turn an otherwise routine promotional ‘week in the life’ blog into a PR disaster by, seemingly, channeling David Brent from ‘The Office’.
I won’t dwell on the details, (if you’re interested you can see the story in full here), but to give you a flavour of the tone – the final entry for Tuesday reads:
“Last thought of the day, Syria..”.
Saying sorry is a hard, complicated and important process that normally is only necessary at times of extreme stress. Whilst I sincerely hope that none of Champion's clients ever find themselves in a situation where they have to apologise, it is inevitable that things will one day go wrong, and it is up to the spokespeople and comms teams to get the apology right. There is a lot of "Sorry" going around at the moment. Here are four examples of apology statements for comparison purposes.
So after a lifetime in the public eye as the highest profile diplomat in the world, HRH has been caught on camera criticising the Chinese: "very rude” apparently… On the same day, Her Majesty was party to a conversation lead by the Prime Minister, who was openly critical of the Nigerian and Afghan governments, calling them “fabulously corrupt."
Undoubtedly, PR crises can be hugely damaging for companies but, with a never-ending list of time-sensitive tasks, crisis management planning can often fall to last priority for communications teams.