Assuming approval by the editors of Hill & Knowlton's online journal Ampersand, the next issue will feature another piece by me.
This time its focus is on apologies and legal liability, a subject I started to explore a little while ago in another post. (My previous contribution was on what public relations professionals can learn from Shakespeare about communications strategies.)
Here are four ideas that conclude the anticipated Ampersand contribution about how in-house or external public relations counselors can keep a company's business objectives in mind, and serve as more useful partners to legal teams especially during a crisis: Make clear to clients and legal counsel that an effective ‘apology’ can mean simply acknowledging that harm has occurred and an expressing sympathy about the consequences of the event on the affected people; Get to know the specific laws in your jurisdiction with respect to legal liability for statements of regret, distress, apology, concern, worry, anxiety; Ask legal counsel to specify: What are the legal consequences if your statement confirms that the company feels badly about what has happened? Ask legal counsel to provide a range of words that CAN be used with relative impunity to express remorse , distress, or regret depending on the particular circumstances of the crisis event.
Is that enough of a tickler to take a look at the article when it is published?