Well, we've all learned a lot since Rep. Anthony Weiner claimed that his Twitter account had been hacked, only to recant when reality played its hand.
The main lesson: Own up, apologize and make it snappy.
A June 4 Facebook post written by someone who had just attended a performance by comedian Tracy Morgan in Nashville laid out in detail Morgan's angry comments about gay people. Apparently, Morgan was not playing a character when he made these comments—he was speaking from the heart, according to the Facebook poster.
And here we are, on June 13, seeing TMZ and New York Times reports that Morgan was heading back to Nashville to apologize and that he'll meet in New York with gay and transgendered teens.
Wait—perhaps we don't have the "make it snappy" part down yet.
CEOs, politicians and all celebrities should take heed—they are being watched and monitored, all the time. Media training is an absolute must—at the very least for their spokespeople. Where was Tracy Morgan's publicist this past week? Did he or she see any headlines with the name "Weiner" in it?
Real-time PR crises require real-time responses. Unfortunately, the hubris and sense of power that underlie reckless statements and actions are the very traits that prevent quick, thoughtful apologies.