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Why Companies Should Say They're Sorry

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Rocket Lawyer chairman Charley Moore explains how companies in crisis can get ahead of bad news. (Published Friday, Jan. 10, 2014)

    Companies aren't known for their mea culpas, and in smarter-than-thou Silicon Valley, perhaps saying sorry may be even harder.  Despite the distaste, public apologies are necessary for companies who want to keep consumer trust as well as their business.

    "I’ve written about the meal culpa myself. It’s a good idea to tell the truth," Charley Moore, executive chairman and founder of Rocket Lawyer, told Press:Here. "We've seen some very good examples of how tech companies can get out in front of what can be bad news."

    While Snapchat dragged its feet before apologizing for a data breach, other people and companies have held prompt press conferences and apologized, such as as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. "If 20,000 flights are canceled, then the airline has to get out in front of that," Moore said. "Empathy is the word of the day."

    Moore does suggest that people use lawyers to craft their apology to not open the company up to more liability, but that should not be the motivating factor. "If you’re running your company with a fear of doing the right thing because of a lawsuit, than that’s going to be a wrong way to run your company," he said.

    Instead, apologies promote trust and empathy with the consumer.  "Your reputation for trust is just as important as your reputation for great products," Moore said. "Tech companies should be (promoting) having a good privacy policy as well as disclosing what they're doing with user information."