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?