One key function of Public Relations is recovery...after your company makes a huge error.
The advice from PR professionals is always the same.
1. Admit your errors.
2. Fix them.
Et tu? British Petroleum.
So Travelers insurance, my insurance company for 15+ years....
BACKGROUND: My agent Mary Forslin, over at Doliff insurance, sent Travelers an inquiry about our policy. Travelers treated it as a change and cancelled us. And then opened us up a new policy at twice the previous rate. This was quite surprising to us as we had no notice of the change. It also caused some considerable stress.
So we did what you might do - called and emailed our agent, asking for more information...Now here, dear reader you might expect that we got a call back right away explaining and apologizing...Nope. We spent days wondering what had happened and how we were going to pay our bill.
ASIDE: Our agent, Mary, is not an adjuster. Travelers handles that. She neither sends no receives our billings. Her whole job, and in fact her job title is "customer service." Her only job is customer communication -- that's it. Literally nothing else. No call back from her or anyone else in the office.
Days later we call her again (after emailing as well for answers.) She explains the mistake. She begins to fix the mistake. Anyway can she get us a correct bill on time for payment? -- No idea, as she doesnt offer this solution. And, for whatever reason -- no apology to me.
Cost of an apology - zero dollars.
Value of a prompt call and apology - PRICELESS
BIG IDEA: Mistakes will happen. Assure that Your PR department -- even if that's just you -- is ready to shine. Admit. Fix. Apologize.
POSTSCRIPT -- A full year later -- Still no apology to me from our agent. Oh, and caught another billing error on their part. (An error, oddly enough, in their favor. Again.)