Ryan Lochte and his Olympic antics have been a great PR case study.
As we all know, Lochte got drunk and acted the fool. His biggest mess up was what he did afterwards. He created a cover-up and when that fell through, he gave a lackluster apology.
No. 1 rule: If you mess up, own up and discuss what you’ll change. It’s what we call the three Fs of crisis communication: you foul up, you ‘fess up, then you fix up. Unfortunately, for Lochte and others in his shoes, people forgive a crisis, but they don’t forgive cover-ups.