Best Practices: Apologies and Non-Apologies

11.18.12

Sorry.

It’s five letters and in a sincere context those five letters have more power than four. You can say it all sorts of ways.

I am sorry.

I am sorry I made a mistake.

I am sorry I was rude. It won’t happen again.

I am sorry. I showed bad judgement.

All of these short and simple sentences are capable of ending an ugly situation.

A non-apology often escalates a difficult situation. Non-apologies include but are not limited to:

I’m sorry you feel that way.

I’m sorry I thought you were someone else.

Woah! Linz, social media guy says sorry! Thought had Twitter set to personal account and was responding 2 similar name friend!

A few hours ago Lindsay Goldner tweeted the Pantages asking if they had any extra tickets to the Book of Mormon. This is an absurd request and Lindsay knows it, but you can’t win if you don’t bet. A good social media manager (actually a mediocre one too) would reply back with someone witty like, “I wish I did I’d totally invite you and all your friends” or even “Nope, sorry but if you manage to score a ticket I’ll buy you some Red Vines at intermission.” Instead this happened.

 

Of course it should have ended there but when you’re digging a hole you might as well dig it deep enough to hide the bodies, right?

Of course I hopped on the phone with Lindsay after I saw this because I had seen the Book of Mormon with her on opening night at the Pantages. As a complete aside I found it to be long and unfunny. I sat in my seat feeling uncomfortable that a musical was mocking a group of sincere people and slept through the second half. Yes, I just defended Mormons. That was weird.

In any event Lindsay and I were on the phone and she was talking about how much she loves musical theater and how she has been to a zillion shows at the Pantages and this made her feel horrible about ever going there again.

That is incredibly sad. This girl loves musical theater (I don’t…).

Eventually there was a non-apology and sometimes I wonder if a non-apology is worse than no apology at all.

What should the Pantages Theater have done? Obviously it’s late for Lindsay, but pretend you’re the social media manager, how do you fix this?

 

EDIT:

This tweet was sent minutes after the tweets to Linsday were sent. It demonstrates that it was unlikely that the the Panatages tweeter thought he was on a personal account.