Friday, September 5, 2008

"I'm Sorry" Works

This is a lesson I've learned over and over and over again. Bad news happens. When it does, be honest and if need be, apologize.

This week an internal memo outlining talking points and details on a mass layoff at a media company was somehow "sent to all" in a company-wide email. Shit happens. In our digital age, it will continue to happen. And as bad news travels at lightening speed, no sooner had this email been sent company-wide than it appeared on an industry magazine's web site. Shit happens again.

Here's where there was a missed opportunity. The company never said "we are sorry this happened." They never apologized to their staff and they missed an opportunity to say they were sorry in the media. In fact, in a conversation with the reporter who wrote this story, he said to me that if only they acknowledged this mistake and said they were sorry, the story could have taken on a whole different tone.

We are all human and we all make mistakes. "I'm sorry" goes a really long way.

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