KFC answers the question: when are you allowed to be funny in a crisis?

KFC ran out of chicken in the UK. They had to close their restaurants, and then explain themselves. They decided to poke fun at themselves . . . which is great, so long as nobody gets hurt. KFC suffered a distribution problem, which meant, basically, no chicken. Their first decision — to close the restaurants … Continued

P&G’s lame response to the “Tide Pod Challenge”

Idiotic teenagers are eating Tide Laundry Pods; poison control centers have reported 39 cases already in January. Procter & Gamble, the company that makes the detergent pods, had responded. I salute its social media response, but the CEO’s statement is tepid. Let’s address one thing right off: failing to talk about this problem isn’t a … Continued

What Apple should have said about slowing down iPhones when the batteries wear out

After news reports revealed that Apple was slowing down older iPhones with worn-out batteries, the company posted a public message to explain itself. It also offered to replace your battery for $29. This statement is clearer and more transparent than most corporate statements after missteps, but not up to Apple’s usual standards. Apple attempts to … Continued

Patreon founder delivers a sincere and effective apology, rolls back its fee changes

Patreon, a crowdfunding site for artists and creators, screwed up with an ill-conceived attempt to change how it charges fees. Now its co-founder Jack Conte has admitted the company’s mistake and asked for a do-over. His apology is sincere, human, and effective. Learn from it. According to Patreon’s blog, its original fee structure had resulted … Continued

Al Franken’s self-serving exit speech

I’ve enjoyed watching Al Franken in the Senate — his was a witty and consistent voice. In the wake of accusations that he sexually assaulted women, he is resigning. His exit speech was evasive, self-serving, and inappropriate for a man who had demonstrated integrity in his service as a senator. After¬†eight women accused him of … Continued

Comparing the Gronkowski and NFL statements after he knocks a player into next week

In Sunday’s football game, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski smashed his 265-pound body onto Buffalo Bills cornerback¬†Tre’Davious White when White was already down on the sidelines, causing a likely concussion. Gronk talked to reporters after the game, and the NFL made a statement as it suspended him for one game. We’ll compare the … Continued

Michael Flynn reveals the template for apologies without remorse

Former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn has pled guilty to lying to the FBI. He has also issued a self-praising statement minimizing what he did. It’s an interesting strategy. Should everyone else who apologizes do the same? Flynn’s proud, patriotic apology Flynn spoke to the Russian Ambassador about foreign policy during the transition, when … Continued