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Apologies

UPDATE: Sears Apologizes for Third Party Connecting Them with Third Reich

Sears-SorryYesterday, we brought you the distressing story of Sears and Amazon trying to serve the niche (and morose) market of Goths and Emos.

Why? Who knows, but there it is — a business plan to reach the supercilious and splenetic kids down the hall…swallowing razor blades and considering hematolagnia.

In short, they were selling Swastika rings not because of the whole Nazi thing but because it’s trendy. In less than 12 hours, Sears proved that it is still a retailer for the common man while Amazon proves it is…not. One communicated directly with the media, while the other chose to ignore headlines (and customer complaints).

By understanding its own crisis communications plan, Sears proved that it really does have everything.

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U2 Apologizes for Apple Album Giveaway

u2 q&aTrying to smooth things over after the rough release of their new album “Songs of Innocence” last month, U2 – or more specifically, Bono – apologized for the album giveaway fiasco that had many iTunes customers seething.

As part of a huge and longstanding partnership with Apple, U2 gave its new album to iTunes users, automatically downloading it onto people’s playlists. Some were so up in arms about the perceived intrusion that Apple introduced a tool to remove the music.

“Can you please never release an album on iTunes that automatically downloads to peoples [sic] playlists ever again? It’s really rude,” the group was asked during the Facebook Q&A.

Bono’s response: “Oops.”
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Dr. Nancy Snyderman Apologizes for Violating Ebola Quarantine

With the country on high alert over the Ebola virus outbreak and people wishing we had a Surgeon General to help lead the response, now is not the time for public figures in the healthcare space to fuel fears.

Alas, that’s what NBC’s chief medical editor and correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman did when she violated a quarantine, albeit a voluntary one, to go to a New Jersey restaurant.

She and other NBC crew members told the CDC that they would submit to a quarantine period after traveling to West Africa to cover the outbreak of the virus. An NBC cameraman, Ashoka Mukpo, came back to the US with the disease, tweeting just yesterday that he was starting to feel better.

New Jersey issued a mandatory quarantine for all NBC journalists exposed to Mukpo last Friday, effective through October 22.

With media reports zipping around the internet about Dr. Snyderman’s jaunt to the Peasant Grill, she issued an apology that Brian Williams read on his Nightly News broadcast last night.

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Ferguson Police Chief, PR Firm Release Apology Video

A couple of days ago we posted on a talking points document produced by someone close to the local government in Ferguson, Missouri. It provided a detailed look into the town’s plans to protect itself against damage inflicted by the ongoing story regarding the death of Michael Brown and the subsequent civil unrest that captivated so many.

It also told us that the city had hired not one but two PR firms: Common Ground and the Devin James Group. It would appear that Common Ground is handling media relations while the James Group attends to crisis comms and community outreach. (Here’s an interesting Twitter interaction between the two parties.)

This morning saw the debut of an apology video featuring Tom Jackson, the town’s chief of police and the subject of much online discussion.

The clip appears to have been produced by the Devin James Group; it was featured on the firm’s page and distributed to national news sources, several of which have already run stories.

You’ll note that Jackson’s speech is both scripted and informal. He even reads directly from a printed statement.

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Anatomy of a Twitter Apology: DiGiorno

ICYMI, DiGiorno broke what looked like a long winning streak on Twitter late last night with this one:

DiGiorno

The hashtag marked a collection of statements from women who had been in abusive relationships explaining why they did not leave their significant others. The point of the trend was to counter the unfortunate narrative holding that Ray Rice’s wife was somehow responsible for the incident that got him fired yesterday.

DiGiorno rightfully got a lot of very negative attention for a painfully insensitive message, but the brand’s social media manager also did a very thorough job of apologizing after the jump.

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Tim Cook Almost Apologizes to Celebs for iCloud Leak

timcook-300x258There’s been a lot of news about Apple this week, and there will be even more news about the company next week when it introduces the world to a watch, a new version of iOS, a new iPad model, a new iPhone and a bigger iPhone (according to Kevin Roose).

On the “celebrity scandal” front, we’d like to turn your attention to the interview with CEO Tim Cook that went live on The Wall Street Journal last night. It’s particularly striking given the company’s “we’re looking into it” statement from Monday.

It also fits very well with the narrative provided by our anonymous “insider” source, who told us that Cook is looking to put a friendlier — and more apologetic — face on the company he runs.

Let’s just say Steve Jobs would not have given an interview like this one.

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On the #HeadlessDay PR Blunder Apology

sleepy2

On the same day that news of of U.S. journalist’s Steven Sotloff’s death at the hands of ISIS terrorists broke, ThinkJam in collaboration with Fox Home Entertainment rolled out a Headless Horseman-themed campaign to promote Sleepy Hollow:

“Heads will roll as sleepyheads celebrate Headless Day today, September 2. On this National Beheading Day, viewers everywhere can share in the fun as fans prepare for the release of Sleepy Hollow: Season One on Digital HD now and arriving on Blu-ray and DVD September 16.

“We hope you like them and are able to share them with your readers! If you share via your social media platforms, please tag them with #HeadlessDay!”

This isn’t just a case of bad timing—it’s a case of bad thinking… of surrendering to the laws of inertia when good sense would suggest giving up. After all, last Tuesday marked the two-week anniversary of journalist James Foley’s grisly beheading.

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ESPN Gets the Memo on America’s Disinterest in Michael Sam’s Showering Habits

ESPN Michael Sam

We wanted to look the other way too.

ICYMI: The St. Louis Rams drafted a gay guy in the NFL draft this year. Many have discussed this fact. We blogged about it. Everyone is watching it.

However, most of us are also over it.

Michael Sam showed true courage, walked over a line, and took a stand for the LGBT community. And while everyone with a pulse and a non-blackened heart applauded him for that move then, we have all stopped clapping.

Why? It’s old news. ESPN, however, thought a story about Sam’s showering habits in the Rams’ locker room was necessary. A day later, they apologized because social media blew up.

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CSIS Wins This Week’s Edition of ‘The Intern Did It’

In what’s becoming a relatively common occurrence, the CSIS or Center for Strategic and International Studies posted a widely-seen tweet this week that just screamed “this did not go how it was supposed to go.”

We weren’t terribly surprised by this response; nor were we surprised to see an apology tweet later.

What did impress us, though, was the degree of detail in the organization’s official explanation.

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Tony Dungy Can’t Decide How He Feels About Michael Sam

tony-dungy-inspires

Today former NFL coach/current NFL analyst Tony Dungy had to issue a clarifying statement after an earlier quote he gave to the Tampa Tribune regarding the draft status of Michael Sam. Here’s what he said several weeks ago:

“I wouldn’t have taken him Not because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it. It’s not going to be totally smooth…Things will happen.”

Dungy didn’t clarify what those “things” were at the time, but we have a feeling that old NFL guys coming out of the woodwork to give their opinions would be one of them.

Today he issued a clarification that didn’t really clear things up at all.

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