Sorry about that! The art of the public apology
3 July 2014 Last updated at 00:02 BST
Sex scandals, corruption allegations and exchanges with offensive language seem all too common among celebrities and political figures these days.
And when an embarrassing report surfaces, they are often called on to apologise publicly for the offending actions or words.
Edwin L Battistella, author of Sorry About That: The Language of Public Apology, says most public apologies fail.
He tells the BBC how to say "I'm sorry" effectively.
Produced by Ashley Semler; edited by Peter Murtaugh
Picture This is a series of video features published every Thursday on the BBC News website which illustrate interviews with authors about their new books.