Stanley Bing’s blog about the inadvisability of apologizing makes some smart, savvy and, as always, funny
points about a recent tempest in a teapot at Maxim Magazine.
In a nutshell, Bing argues that Maxim management called unnecessary attention to a blunder by publicly apologizing for it. Lots of Bing readers disagreed, though, and believed it disingenuous to not apologize for the transgression.
Well, yes and no.
Bing is right that Maxim did escalate an otherwise forgettable event with its printed apology. And, Bing’s readers are right to say that apologizing is the only ethical and transparent thing to do in this crazy, post-Enron world in which we live.
Bing’s point, though, is that formulaic crisis management isn’t ALWAYS the smart solution. In fact, Hollywood’s version of crisis management is so pathetically predictable that the apology is seen as the sham it really is.
Bing is a top corporate strategist in ‘real life’ and would, I think, argue for a full apology and complete transparency if a Fortune 500 company were to find itself between a rock and a hard place. That said, I do think there are many shades of grey in any crisis and, sometimes, just sometimes, not apologizing is the way to go.