Beverly B. Media and Communications

How to Issue a Great Apology


So you messed up. Big. How do you explain your company’s misstep to the public? Just say it: “I’m sorry.”

By Tim Donnelly |  @timdonnelly   | Sep 14, 2011

JCPenney landed at the center of a firestorm earlier this month over a shirt it was selling to girls, bearing the slogan: “I’m too pretty to do my homework so my brother has to do it for me.”

Internet commenters registered rage at what they saw as a sexist shirt promoting girls’ looks over their brains by tweeting, e-mailing, and signing online petitions. The pressure forced JCPenney to pull the shirt immediately. But the company did get credit for acting quickly and issuing an apology statement right away.

“We agree that the ‘Too Pretty’ T-shirt does not deliver an appropriate message, and we have immediately discontinued its sale,” the statement says. “We would like to apologize to our customers.”

Knowing how, when, and why to issue a smart apology can be the difference between a public-relations hiccup that can be smoothed over. and a flap that could end up dragging your company into the muck. While the long-term effects on JCPenney aren’t yet clear, observers say the honest and sincere apology may have saved its reputation. What’s the trick? Experts share these tips on crafting the perfect apology.

Read the tips for a good apology

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This entry was posted on September 27, 2011 by in The going ons and tagged , , .

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