How to use YouTube to deliver an effective apology
Mario Gomez – GoCrisis, VP Global Communications
Your airline has spent weeks preparing for a busy travel season. The Information Technology team has prepared upgrades to the ticketing system to help boarding become a smoother experience for the travelers. At the height of one of the busiest days, the system has crashed. Hundreds of flights have been delayed or canceled. Travelers are angry and fearful that they cannot reach their destinations on time.
Unfortunately, situations like this and other more serious crises can affect airline operations and its reputation with the traveling public. In an effort to maintain good relations with its customers, corporations, including airlines, are using video to apologize for the inconvenience.
The video apology is the tool that directly speaks to your target audience without depending on the media.
Why do we apologize? There are many reasons but here are some of the most common:
The risks associated with an apology
Making an apology, especially posting a YouTube video can be a risky in terms of organizational culture and reputation. Consider the following:
• Can be seen as a sign of weakness by the CEO
• Conceding that you failed
• The timing of the apology may be too late
• Negative short or long-term impact financial impact
• CEO may lose his/her job
• Possible legal action
• Loss of reputation
If a situation has occurred that requires an apology, YouTube is one the best social media tools for an airline or any organization to control and communicate their message. In order for an apology to be authentic, the spokesperson, especially in a major crisis, must have the personal temperament to express the following:
Preparing and delivering an apology is often overlooked in crisis communications and crisis management plans. When a major incident occurs, it is the responsibility of the president or CEO to be the spokesperson for the airline. Consider the following action steps to integrate into your emergency planning:
When delivered properly, an effective apology can help your organization transition from crisis mode to normalcy.