Who Knew?

November 3, 2015

by Roger Pynn

We often advise clients to forego asking for a retraction when something untrue has been published about them.  Why?  Primarily because we believe that in publishing the apology the media outlet will very likely expose people who never saw the error to the subject … and it will only arouse their curiosity.  In other words, “Why regurgitate the error?”

I couldn’t help but think of that when I received this email from a small restaurant we frequent occasionally.

“Hi everyone, I just wanted to let everyone know, how sorry I am about tonights (sic) Pot Roast special. It wasn’t up to our standards in quality of meat. When it was brought to my attention, I discovered that our vendor had switched products without telling us. I assure you the next time we have the Pot Roast special, it will be as delicious as it has been in the past.  
Thank you”

When I say “small,” we’re talking a total of about 40 seats … and they are rarely full.  In fact, this pub serves only the residents of a specific gated community.  You have to live there to eat there … almost a private club.

Now how many folks do you think ordered this awful pot roast?  Not many, I’m sure.  But the email list serves 1,200 property owners … all of whom are now likely wary of what their next meal will taste like.

So, the next time you are tempted to ask for a correction, think about pot roast.

“We’re Sorry” Works

October 5, 2012

by Roger Pynn

I wrote the other day about the value of owning your mistakes.  Apple CEO Tim Cook did just that when he owned up to the problems with the new map app for the iPhone 5, writing a letter that not only assumed responsibility for the problem but suggested his customers use someone else’s app until Apple gets it right.

Pretty risky?

Not if you look at the numbers.

CNET’s Casey Newton wrote today that after almost a week consumers seem to be sticking it out with Apple’s admittedly frustrating and substandard attempt to knock off Google’s map app. Cook went so far in his apology to suggest competing products iPhone owners could turn to (Bing and Waze, specifically) and even gave instructions on how to create a screen icon to link to Google’s Web app.  Remember … this all started with Apple kicking Google Maps off the iPhone, where it has been since day one.

Newton reports that Bing and Waze got an initial spike in downloads, but much like a post-convention bounce for presidential candidates, everything seems to be returning to normal.  Kudos to Tim Cook and his colleagues at Apple for owning the problem.

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