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Successful Presentation Strategies (Collection) by Jerry Weissman

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16. Rupert Murdoch’s 90% Apology

Who Did It?

In 2011, when a mobile phone hacking scandal rocked the foundation of his media empire, News Corp. Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch issued an apology in full-page newspaper advertisements the day after the story broke. The ads, headed “We are sorry,” went on to read:

We are sorry for the serious wrongdoing that occurred. We are deeply sorry for the hurt suffered by the individuals affected. We regret not acting faster to sort things out. I realise that simply apologising is not enough.1

At first glance, the apology appears to take full responsibility—but not quite. Mr. Murdoch composed that first sentence, “We are sorry for the serious wrongdoing that occurred,” in the passive voice, in which the ...

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