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Ignite X is a recognized, integrated marketing agency in Silicon Valley that delivers content marketing, executive branding, and public relations services.  

The Art of The Public Apology


Ignite X specializes in helping technology startups grow their market visibility and brand. We bring expertise, connections and tenacity to helping brands break through the noise. Here are some of the things we've learned along the way. 

The Art of The Public Apology

Carmen Hughes

Paula Deen’s second apology earlier this week at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival has rekindled concerns that she may have dug her self-made grave a little bit deeper.  Months after her brand went into a tailspin following a racial and sexual harassment scandal, many are questioning whether this new apology was from the heart.

A public apology can make all the difference to a brand's bruised reputation. Here are some tips to make sure your apology comes off as sincere:

  • Recognize that your actions or words have caused hurt or harm. In other words, own up to the damage you have created.
  • Don’t wait too long to say you’re sorry; stalling raises doubts as to whether you’re apologizing on your own accord or perhaps are unwilling to apologize at all. Even if you seek out a crisis communications expert to help guide you, “time is of the essence” and will indeed be a factor as to how the public judges your response.
  • Don’t beat around the bush. Actually saying the words “I’m sorry” goes a long way than a questionable “I apologize”, which isn’t sincere or thorough particularly when the stakes are high and the media and public are watching.
  • Offer assurance that your offensive action will unequivocally never happen again.
  • Prove beyond words that you’re going the extra mile. You can do this via a notable donation or perhaps enrolling in a related training course that will help you and your behavior.
  • One good public apology is enough; it’s best not to keep revisiting the problem you are trying to leave behind!

Here’s a look at Paula Deen's recent apology. Good/bad…what do you think?

Deen's Broken Record