I’m taking a moment out of my busy Sunday to remind you of this important anti-marketing principle:
Apologies are best served fresh, not canned!
I’m always fascinated by how corporations try to cover their ass (CYA) with canned apologies.
Take the credit bureau, Equifax, for instance. You’ve probably heard that they recently had a massive security breach that affected almost half the U.S. population.
Hackers stole the sensitive info of 143 million people. Equifax took six weeks to notify the public of this breach. According to Fortune.com, “the firm denied that three of its senior executives knew about the data breach before selling almost $1.8 million of their shares in the company.”
Blah blah blah. Typical CYA shit.
Equifax’s CEO Richard Smith doled out the most canned apology in American history:
“We are devoting extraordinary resources to make sure this kind of incident doesn’t happen again. We will make changes and continue to strengthen our defenses against cyber crimes. We will make sure every consumer who wants protection has a full package of services. And we will continue to update everyone on our progress.”
Omg! Sounds like the writings of a sociopath who doesn’t give a shit.
It’s like serving old canned green beans on your birthday instead of preparing a fresh dish from scratch.
Most people read the CEO’s apology and felt let down…for good reason.
I’m sure that canned paragraph went through ten rounds of edits from “public relations consultants” whose goal was to cover the company’s ass.
No one bought it.
If Equifax was an anti-marketer — if they had been straight with everyone — they would have said it like it is:
“We f@%cked up big-time, America. You trusted us, and we let you down. We’re as baffled as you are as to how this happened. Someone will be getting fired. Maybe even jail time. No excuses. We’re going to find a way to fix this, or die trying. In the meantime, here are some FREE tips on how to protect your identify…we’re not going to charge you for these tips, because that would be shitty. One of our reps had the gall to suggest charging you all for this ‘protection’… we fired him the next day.”
Ha! Can you imagine a company apologizing like that?
It’ll never happen in the corporate world. People are terrified of losing their jobs.
Luckily, home business owners don’t have to sink to the level of “canned” anything.
We have the power and freedom to tell it like it is, even in an apology.
If you fuck up, own it. Fix it. Make your apology actually mean something. Don’t spew canned slop to the people whose lives you just inconvenienced.
On that note…off to enjoy the rest of my Sunday!