Sen. Loeffler Offers Non-Apology Apology to Explain Financial Missteps

When you get caught on the wrong side of the law, especially for financial gain, and particularly during the pandemic, you need to provide an explanation for your actions.

Especially if you are a politician or public figure.

It would appear, today, when reading this Wall Street Journal headline for the column disgraced Georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler wrote, that the Republican lawmaker is offering a solution for the bad press about her financial missteps, while defending her innocence with a non-apology apology.

In the column, Loeffler explains her family’s investment process, seeming to blame the financial services sector that manages her assets, and removing herself from any knowledge or responsibility.

“My family’s investments are managed by third-party advisers at Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Sepio Capital and Wells Fargo. These professionals buy and sell stocks on our behalf. We don’t direct trading in these accounts.”

The PR playbook is clear on apologies. If you intend to apologize, do so. Deflecting, passing the buck and avoiding factual evidence are not PR best practices.

After attempting to explain away allegations against her, Loeffler lays out what her family will do to try to clear its name and move forward.

“I am taking action to move beyond the distraction and put the focus back on the essential work we must all do to defeat the coronavirus. Although Senate ethics rules don’t require it, my husband and I are liquidating our holdings in managed accounts and moving into exchange-traded funds and mutual funds. I will report these exiting transactions in the periodic transaction report I file later this month.”

A good follow-up would be for the senator to announce where proceeds from the sale of these liquidations will go. Donating to organizations helping needy families, first responders or small businesses that have had to close due to COVID-19 would be a fine choice.

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