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Mea Culpa: 5 Tips for Issuing a Public Apology

"If the public perceives that you have done something, it's best to get in front of the story"

- December 13, 2010

Ah, Twitter faux pas. Email mishaps. Inappropriate Facebooking. They're as symptomatic of life in the public eye as fresh facelifts and camera-toting paparazzi. Lately, though, it seems like the foot-in-mouth hysteria that normally afflicts celebrities has been running rampant through the upper echelons of the journalism and media industries as well.

From the "what were they thinking?" antics of Randy Michaels and Lee Abrams at the beleaguered Tribune Co., to the insensitivities of Juan Williams, Rick Sanchez, and Dave Weigel, to the recent fudging by a freelancer from The Onion, headlines have been buzzing with gaffes aplenty.

In this one-false-move-and-we'll-retweet world, social bungles aren't nearly as easy to sweep under the rug as they used to be, yet a good, sound "I'm sorry" is invaluable for maintaining your professional credibility (and keeping a digital footprint from coming back to haunt you). Luckily, there are strategic ways to pull off a public expression of regret that smacks of honesty, authenticity and hopefully, a rebound from the melodrama -- until the next impropriety, of course....

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