“Leave Us Alone” = Good PR?

Posted September 22nd, 2010 in Uncategorized by Jeff Bentoff

I normally advise clients to be cooperative with reporters. They have a job to do. You won’t like every story, but you’ll like them even less if you stiff the writer. When they contact you, engage. You decide how to respond, but acknowledge their questions and say what you can.

Sounds good, but one modern genius (no irony intended – he really is a genius) seems to disagree. Apple chief Steve Jobs (and his company) regularly rebuffs reporters until he needs them. Then, when he calls, they gather like a flock of birds going for bread crumbs. And they sing his praises.

How does that work? I guess you have to design amazing products, be a leader in your field, not care what reporters write about you and be Steve Jobs.

An example of this less-than-cooperative attitude toward media is this student journalist’s alleged and fascinating email exchange with Jobs over how Apple’s PR department had been ignoring her inquiries.

This approach really shouldn’t work, but then again, you and I are not Steve Jobs.

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