Monday, October 10, 2011

The power of oops

More and more companies are learning the power of straightforward PR tone. Netflix was the latest to adopt this approach today when announcing that due to the public outcry they were not going to spin off a DVD mail service called Quikster.

I attribute the power of the oops to the same trend that spawned transparency groups such as WikiLeaks and Information is too immediate, prevalent and accessible to be overly controlled with your message, especially when it comes to crisis management. Many people in the world have access to news from whatever source they want.

During the BP oil spill, the company tried to use the "honest oops" but it didn't work to save their image. Here are some tips on how to pull off a successful corporate oops.

  1. Don't wait to address the issue - make a statement as soon as you can

  2. Offer action or a change that will effect those effected by your mistake

  3. Send the "oops" message from the very top person in your company

Comedy aside: Eddie Izzard has a bit about the Queen of England on this topic not being able to communicate in this way when managing the news of Diana's death. It's a bit dated but hilarious.

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