PERSUASIVE COMMUNICATION: APOLOGY
Persuasivecommunication is a way of drafting messages meant to convince otherpeople to follow a given decision. In the organization, it is aninvaluable tool in the realization of goals. Modernity now dictatesthat professional communicators are employed to help maintain theimage of the firm, Austin & Pinkleton, B. E. (2015).
Dozier& Grunig (2013), argue that for effective persuasivecommunication, the organization should be credible, design goalsacceptable by their partners, use vivid language accompanied by anexerting evidence as well as emotional connection with theiraudiences. Effective communication helps in solving problems thatalways arise in the organization’s efforts to corporate well withother parties. Persuasive communication serves to ensure thatcorrections for errors committed by a company are understood by theoffended partners.
Apologiesare necessary social instruments that serve to catalyze the processesof conflict resolution. They may lead to forgiveness necessary in thereconstruction of lost trust or only land on deaf ears. Apologies inthe context of then organization assists in resolving interpersonaldifferences assure client experience and improve leadereffectiveness. When not properly constructed, apologies turn to ahighly risky strategy that can only worsen an already worsesituation.
Fehr& Gelfand (2010) postulates three components of apologies asthose offering compensation, expressing empathy and those thatacknowledge violations of rules. Compensation restores equity throughsome exchange in the correction of balance of ties through eitherspecific or general actions. It alleviates the downside effects ofthe firm’s injustice. Expressing empathy meanwhile tends to focuson relational aspects. Empathy demonstrates that the offender hasrecognized and is concerned that the victim suffered due to theiractions or inactions thereof both cognitively or socio-emotionally.As such, offenders show compassion and express warmth as well asdemonstrating some level of understanding of consequences on victims.On the other hand, acknowledging violations extend the scope ofapologizing to the group level. It recognizes that interpersonalbehaviors should be within a set of norms and rules. This componentis practical in contexts where there are sets of norms and principlesguiding members (Fehr & Gelfand (2010).
Manyorganizations usually employ the spin doctor tactics in offeringapologies. They generate certain types of accounts to justify thewrongdoing. Folkes & Whang (2003) refer to such actions asaccounts. What firms do is providing explanations on an offense totheir audiences by justification, denial of responsibility for suchactions or accepting to have committed the transgressions. Eitherway, the effects may reach both the offended and other individualswhether given by public relations officials or the firm managersthemselves. Explanations often serve to reconstruct damages to thesocial relations resulting from the organizations’ breach of norms.
However,communications intended to give explanations can lead to morecondoning towards the acts since the generation of a precisestatement that may necessitate public defense calls for a morecomplex information processing. On the same breathe, the giving anexcuse, justification or concession results to greater blame comparedto production of denial. In firms which resort to givingexplanations, consider resultant perceptions that the wrong-doer didn have control over the kind of offending actions. More offensively,accounts affect condoning more in any chance that the previousrelationship between the two companies was weaker than when strongerties existed (Folkes & Whang (2003).
Whether organizations concede a wrong doing and proceed to or fail tooffer apologies, their reputation is at stake. Reputation is theimage which it has built in the eyes of the public based on positiveoutcomes. Crisis resulting in apologies reduce the trust people, andstakeholders have in that company. They may react angrily or reduceallegiance in their commitment to future activities. For this reason,effective communication strategies must apply to restore the losttrust and assure that such transgressions will not be witnessed infuture. It is up to the organization to use effective persuasivecommunication strategies to restore corporation with itsstakeholders.
Fehr, R., & Gelfand, M. J. (2010). When apologies work: Howmatching apology components to victims’ self-construals facilitatesforgiveness.Organizational Behavior and Human DecisionProcesses, 113(1), 37-50
Folkes, V. S., & Whang, Y. O. (2003). Account-giving for acorporate transgression influences moral judgment: When those who"spin" condone harm-doing. Journal of AppliedPsychology, 88(1), 79.
Austin, E. W., & Pinkleton, B. E. (2015). StrategicPublic Relations Management: Planning and Managing EffectiveCommunication Campaigns(Vol. 10). Routledge.
Dozier, D. M., Grunig, L. A., & Grunig, J. E. (2013). Manager`sguide to excellence in public relations and communication management.Routledge