Mario Sundar

LinkedIn's 2nd PR hire. These are my thoughts on products, public relations, and startups.

Top 5 Corporate Blog Apologies

So Google turned all mushy with this “Sweet Lil Apology of Mine” blog post, after Gmail went down for a few hours earlier today. It looks like this was the first time a Gmail downtime impacted so many users. So, it seems worthy of a post that so nails it when it comes to corporate blogging best practices.

While I admire this honest, straight forward post addressed at users’ concerns, let’s see earlier examples of how companies (from start ups to Fortune 500, from product managers to CEOs) have used the corporate blogging pulpit to profoundly apologize.

#5. Amazon – We’re so good; this is unacceptable” post

Though we’re proud of our operational performance in operating Amazon S3 for almost 2.5 years, we know that any downtime is unacceptable and we won’t be satisfied until performance is statistically indistinguishable from perfect. – Anonymous

#4. Twitter – “We’re having issues. Will keep you posted” post

We’ve created a new blog dedicated to status updates regarding Twitter performance and reliability. If something is going on technically, operationally, or otherwise we will put a link in your Twitter home page to a description on this new blog.

This includes good news, bad news, warnings, and miscellaneous heads-up notices. – Biz Stone, Co-founder

#3. Facebook – “We really messed up. Let’s make this right apology

We really messed this one up. When we launched News Feed and Mini-Feed we were trying to provide you with a stream of information about your social world.

Instead, we did a bad job of explaining what the new features were and an even worse job of giving you control of them. I’d like to try to correct those errors now. – Mark Zuckerberg, CEO

#2. Google – Sorry. It’s fixed. Thank You. Did I say ‘Sorry’? apology

Many of you had trouble accessing Gmail for a couple of hours this afternoon, and we’re really sorry. We never take for granted the commitment we’ve made to running an email service that you can count on. We’ve identified the source of this issue and fixed it.

In addition, we’re conducting a full review of what went wrong and moving quickly to update our internal systems and procedures accordingly.

Again, we’re sorry. – Todd Jackson, Product Manager

#1. Apple -“It hurts us that it hurts you” apology

We want to do the right thing for our valued iPhone customers. We apologize for disappointing some of you, and we are doing our best to live up to your high expectations of Apple. – Steve Jobs, CEO

While Google’s recent post just takes my breath away in terms of using exactly the right words in its sincerity, Jobs’ post is so accurate in balancing corporate and customer sentiments as succinctly as possible.

Flawless communications from Apple, as is their wont!

What’s your favorite corporate blog apology? Leave a comment.

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Filed under: Business Blogging, Public Relations

14 Responses

  1. connectmohan says:

    i like the google apology ! .. its quite direct and brief

    Like

  2. [...] Top 5 Corporate Blog Apologies… an honest apology through an official corporate blog. Nicely done! What s your favorite corporate blog apology? Leave a comment. Sign up to receive Marketing Nirvana posts either in your RSS reader or Email Inbox (Subscribe now!) [...]

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  3. Herve Kabla says:

    The best apology for me: Ed Colligan thanking engadget for their negative feedback on the Foleo: http://blog.palm.com/palm/2007/08/thanks-engadget.html

    Like

  4. Dave says:

    Apple, Google, Facebook Amazon, Twitter…Is there any company noticeable in it’s absence? Maybe Microsoft is infallible. At least that seems to be the message with Mojave…

    Like

  5. rob g says:

    Can I get a “LinkedIn will be right back”? Everyone has apologies, only LinkedIn has a big, omniscient wizard.

    Like

  6. Mario Sundar says:

    @Herve,

    thanks for that example.

    @Dave,

    ahh… mojave? how could they go wrong with that? ;)

    @rob g,

    dude, i didn’t recognize you there for a sec. Of course, we have our LinkedIn Wizard who makes your worries disappear :)

    btw, for those unaware, rob works with me at LinkedIn and helps churn out these super-cool user videos (http://tinyurl.com/5ajf5g)

    Like

  7. [...] on how companies use corporate blogs to deal with crises. You may have read my earlier posts on the top 5 Corporate Blog apologies, which included Facebook, Apple and Google. I also wrote about the demise of Apple’s MobileMe [...]

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  8. [...] on such a feasibility (What would Steve Jobs blog?), as I explained the benefits of such an action, the good and bad of Apple’s earlier attempts, etc.  (see scorecard here). Chuq’s post [...]

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  9. [...] Admittedly, people blow things up all the time. So do big companies. When it comes to PR communication, social media (blogging) can serve as a remedy to iron out crisis.  Apple, Inc is one of the big corps that employ blog to apologize to the general public. Here’s a link of 5 vivid examples briefing blogs in crisis management.  http://mariosundar.wordpress.com/2008/08/12/top-5-corporate-blog-apologies/ [...]

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  10. [...] Admittedly, people blow things up all the time. So do big companies. When it comes to PR communication, social media (blogging) can serve as a remedy to iron out crisis.  Apple, Inc is one of the big corporations that employ blogs to apologize to the general public. Here’s a link of 5 vivid examples briefing blogs in crisis management.  http://mariosundar.wordpress.com/2008/08/12/top-5-corporate-blog-apologies/ [...]

    Like

  11. [...] Sundar, social media expert for LinkedIn, wrote a great post about the Top 5 Corporate Blog Apologies. My personal fav is Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg “We really messed this one [...]

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  12. [...] example is this link, discussing 5 corporations and the way they went about using the apology [...]

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