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Apologies

#PRWin for Frontier Airlines: Free Pizza for Stranded Passengers

frontier airlinesI know, right?

How many of you in PR land wish you were stranded on that plane? Most of us has been leave-in’ on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again … because of a client. And then, it happens. The engine bustles. The flight attendants gristle. And the plane stops for hours!

As we know, this is some of the most uncomfortable time you will ever spend anywhere. It is one of the very reasons some people abhor air travel, and following the recession, that is not a sentiment airlines can afford to have.

And then Frontier Airlines Captain Gerhard Bradner (seen pictured above) put an end to all that bickering because pizza heals all wounds.

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Sears, Walmart Apologize for Selling Nazi Poster (No Comment from Amazon)

walmart

Today we learned that three of the country’s largest online retailers do not effectively screen the products they offer for evidence of Nazism.

On Monday, Digiday reported on the news (first broken by Heeb last week) that Walmart‘s online store offered shoppers a poster featuring an image of the gate at Dachau concentration camp, which was the very first opened by the German government to hold political prisoners in 1933 (and at which tens of thousands of innocent people died). The fact that the saying on the gate reads “work makes you free” is especially perverse.

Further searches revealed that Amazon and Sears also featured the item online. Their excuse? The dreaded “third party vendor.”

Let’s compare their statements.

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Sheryl Sandberg Shrugs Off Facebook’s Latest Scandal

Mark Zuckerberg has yet to begin his apology tour for Facebook’s latest crossing of the invisible line with a research paper that did not get pre-approval from the ethics board at Cornell University.

Today, however, Sheryl Sandberg addressed the matter at a totally-not-related event. Robinson Meyer of The Atlantic sums up her reponse in popular emoji form:

That’s pretty much it. A quote after the jump…

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The New York Times Declares Apologies Pointless

SorryNotSorry

NYT business reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin’s #ApologyWatch tag pretty much petered out, much to the joy of whoever kept reminding us that someone else came up with it first.

Yesterday, though, the Grey Lady ran a piece by David Greenberg of ethics and compliance solutions provider LRN that caught our attention. The issue: why do so many apologies come across as insincere and lame? The answer: because no one really wants to make them and no one really wants to hear them.

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David Cameron Apologizes for Former Comms Chief/Convicted Conspirator

Contrary to what Twitter may have told you this morning, the biggest news out of Britain does NOT involve a Queen and a throne.

The long-running News of the World phone hacking trial is nearing its end–and while Rupert Murdoch confidante Rebekah Brooks got off scot-free, top hack-turned-flack Andy Coulson has been found guilty of conspiring to “break into” the phone of a murdered teenager.

Coulson is now best known as Prime Minister David Cameron’s former head of communications. Cameron’s response to the verdict? Apologize. Immediately.

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Target (Almost) Apologizes to Canada

Target wants the nation of Canada to know that they’re “disappointed” in their own performance–and they’ll definitely do better next time.

Last year we reported that the retailer’s northern expansion had failed to convince the Canucks not to shop at Walmart, and this week the company attempted to hit the “reset” button with this clip:

The executive team leader says the problem was all about getting product on the shelves, but we’re not so sure; the primary factor behind the lackluster numbers seemed to be the fact that Walmart is still cheaper and more convenient when it comes to the basics.

Here’s the big one: the Target corporation lost more than one billion dollars in 2013 and fired its president of Canadian operations in May.

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If NFL’s Ray Rice Has PR, Fire That Agency Immediately

Ray-Rice

…is more like ‘Roni’, and is no San Francisco (or Baltimore) treat. 

Some professional athletes have their foibles. Others have mild drama issues. Ray Rice has neither — he’s just a turd with a bad temper.

After reports came out that he (allegedly) beat his fiance unconscious and dragged her from an elevator, everyone wanted to him confronted by the NFL. Much less, these same people wanted said fiance Janay Palmer to press charges.

She didn’t. In fact, she married him, so she’s smart and in love. The NFL hasn’t … yet. But you know what they say about karma — it always shows up during press conferences. Thank goodness.

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FIFA President: ‘Qatar World Cup? My Bad.’

sepp blatter fifa

From the Olympics to the Super Bowl, cities around the world have made it a mission to win “announcements.” You know? When the desired event (e.g., RNC 2016, DNC 2016, Tea Party, well, you get the idea), holds a press conference, opens an envelope, and immediately creates millions of dollars in economic impact for a city?

Yeah, Futbol (or Soccer, if you are so domesticated) does this in a big form.

Getting the World Cup for its quadrennial global championship means huge money for the host city in tourism, shopping, dining, lodging, and of course, sport watching. FIFA President Sepp Blatter recently announced that Qatar — a rumored opulent peninsula bordering the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia — would host the 2022 World Cup.

Except now, he wishes he never said a word.  Read more

Two Weeks Later: Donald Sterling ‘Apologizes’ for Racist Rant

Donald-Sterling

Dear Donald, We look forward to seeing you at our next pep rally. Love, Grandmaster of the KKK.

Arguably, the most important rule to crisis communications is own it quickly. In fact, be the first to comment! Donald Sterling had a crisis with his NBA team, Los Angeles Clippers, because of a few (dozen) bigoted comments about black people. (MEMO to Donnie: You are so not in the right business.)

Understanding he was losing interest in the team, experienced in-fighting among his team, and his own coach even refused to lead said team if Sterling still owned it, he had a major crisis on his hands. So, he does what most rich people do, “Meh!”

And then apologizes two weeks later. Kinda.

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How Did MSNBC Celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Offensively!

MSNBC-Cinco-de-Mayo

Because racist jokes are always national news, right?

The NBC News nation hasn’t had the best week. First, we discover the powers that be at 30 Rock realize David Gregory isn’t holding up end of the deal so they make Will.I.Am a political commentator. You know, because that’s what we all think of that guy.

And then yesterday came — it was Cinco de Mayo.

A day that most people confuse for Mexican Independence Day, which in itself is offensive to many Mexican people. However, MSNBC couldn’t resist the temptation for its beleaguered network. They needed a catchy segment, something that would grab attention. Somberos, tequila, chips, salsa, and … oh, that’s right … racism?!

Whelp, it worked.

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