Wednesday, July 27, 2011

About Those Corporate Apologies

Microsoft UK has used another of those semi-non-apology, apologies in England, after being called out for taking advantage of singer Amy Winehouse’s unexpected death.

Microsoft’s British PR department drew the ire of Winehouse fans with a tweet suggesting they remember her by buying her latest recording “Back to Black.”  The on-line universe erupted with Twitter replies accusing Microsoft of being “crass” and “vile” in an effort to make more money off her death.

Someone at Microsoft United Kingdom responded at tweetbox360, “Apologies to everyone IF  (my emphasis) our earlier Amy Winehouse tweet SEEMED purely commercially motivated.” The tweet added, “Far from the case, we assure you.”

How many times, in recent months, have we seen an executive or spokesperson for an organization issue an apology “if we offended . . .”?  If an apology is appropriate, just apologize and get it over.  Don’t put a qualifier on an apology. And, if you don’t mean it, don’t say it!

 It was a couple of days later before Microsoft UK finally tweeted what should have been part of their initial public statement, "With Amy W's passing the world has lost a huge talent. Our thoughts are with Amy's family and friends at this very sad time."

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