Mel Gibson, Tom Cruise, Michael Richards, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears. There are countless Hollywood types who have said or done outrageous things of late, apologized or explained why after the fact and hoped to move on with their careers.
Richards is just the latest example of the Hollywood meltdown craze. But, increasingly, the public simply isn’t buying the sincerity of the stars’ after-the-fact apology. In fact, fans’ blasé response to Messrs. Richards and Gibson’s comments reminds me of what we’re seeing in the corporate world where it’s simply not enough to say, "Sorry buds. My bad." There has to be more done and said, and more time allowed to demonstrate true change has taken place.
In fact, there have so many recent examples of poor behavior by Hollywood and Fortune 500 executives, that the apologies are beginning to seem formulaic. How sad is that? Americans have become so beaten down by scandal that the best PR and reputation strategies for response and image rehabilitation now seem trite and staged.
Since it seems scandals have become a part of our daily fabric of life, it might be wise for PR counselors to think of new and different strategies for crisis response. Just saying ‘I’m sorry’ is no longer enough.