Accounts, Excuses, and Apologies, Third Edition

Image Repair Theory Extended

By William L. Benoit

Subjects: Communications, Communications - Textbook, Business Communication
Hardcover : 9781438496078, 180 pages, January 2024
Paperback : 9781438496061, 180 pages, January 2024

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Table of contents


1. Image Repair Theory Extended

2. Other Theories of Reputation Rehabilitation

3. President Donald Trump's Image Repair on Fox News Sunday, Axios, and ABC News Town Hall

4. Presidential Image Repair on Starting and Ending Wars: President Vladimir Putin on Ukraine and President Joe Biden on Afghanistan

5. Donald Trump's Image Repair for January 6 Committee Hearings

6. Corporate Image Repair

7. Image Repair in Sports

8. Religious Image Repair

9. Third-Party Image Repair

Conclusions and Implications


Proposes a theory and case studies on repairing a damaged or threatened image or reputation.


In our constantly plugged-in and connected world, image is everything. People, groups, organizations, and countries frequently come under suspicion of wrongdoing and sometimes require defense. Accounts, Excuses, and Apologies describes the image-repair strategies that may be used to help defuse these threats.

The Third Edition of this classic book builds on theories for rehabilitating a damaged reputation by adding two new forms of denial: straw denial (appearing to deny an accusation by sidestepping it) and deflecting attention (trying to get the audience to focus on something other than the accusations against you). Five contexts for image repair are examined: corporate, political, sports/entertainment, international, and third party (when one person or organization tries to repair the image of another). The book’s case studies include current instances of reputation repair, including Vladimir Putin on Ukraine and President Joe Biden on Afghanistan; Southwest Airlines on flight cancellations; Kobe Bryant on accusations of rape; and Donald Trump on the January 6 hearings.

William L. Benoit is Distinguished Professor at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. He is the author of many books, including (with Pamela J. Benoit) Persuasive Messages: The Process of Influence.


Praise for the Second Edition

"Well-structured and clearly written, this study will serve those in political science, psychology, and business as well as those interested in rhetoric and communication." — CHOICE

"The most influential book ever published on crisis communication." — Timothy L. Sellnow, coauthor of Theorizing Crisis Communication