Real estate website ListedBy.com sent an email to alert its customers that Robin Williams died. Several people thought the announcement was inappropriate and told the firm so.
The situation reminds me of small business advisor who used Amy Winehouse's death to promote her services. Although ListedBy.com was a bit more subtle, the email still feels like an opportunity to connect with prospective customers. Using a death for this purpose just seems wrong.
To its credit, the company sent a nice apology:
I wanted to run in to the office even at this late hour and make sure we issue a prompt apology. Earlier tonight we sent out our wkly newsletter including the news of Robin Williams death. We used our same newsletter template we always use for sending out breaking news and while it was potentially a vocal minority we did receive a couple dozen emails that felt it was simply not tasteful and not our place to send out an email like this.
In hindsight we completely agree and understand why this was not a good idea to send and we want to issue our most sincere apology to all our members and anyone who was in any way offended by this.
It was simply an issue of us ourselves as human beings receiving the news about half an hour before we were trying to select the "news of the day" to send out to our members, and being that we were sincerely extreme Robin Williams fans it seemed like there was no news we could think of that was more important than this. In hindsight again though we realize we actually could have negatively represented the man we intended to honor and for that we are very sorry. It again was a very fast paced decision from someone that really was shocked by the news and we hope you as members forgive us if this was in bad taste. As an extra part of our apology and to try to accomplish our initial goal of honoring a great person who was such a big part of American culture for so long we will be making a donation this week to his charitable foundation. Thanks again for your understanding our human flaw on this send and from now on we'll just stick to real estate when it comes to reporting the news!
The ListedBy.com Team
- Assess the apology: What works well, and what could be improved?
- Edit the apology: Help the CEO (or whoever wrote it) punctuate properly.