The big question dominating the PR world this week is “have Apple changed their ways and started leaking product to the press?” after a prototype of the next iPhone found its way into the hands of tech journalists at Gizmodo.
The way in which Apple practices its PR is fascinating. They are intensely secretive, they often treat journalists with a measure of disdain normally afforded to people who man the local sewage works, they do very little PR in the commonest sense of the term and yet they still remain up there amongst the press’s lists of ‘must have’ products.
“Once you’ve got the ear of Apple, they’re great,” says Gizmodo. “Human, considerate, and helpful. But make a mistake or step on their toes and they shut off your drip. That’s their system–and it works brilliantly. If you want access to Apple, you can’t upset them. And since nothing gets attention like Apple products, it behooves those in the tech enthusiast press to stay in Apple’s good graces.”
Which makes it all the more remarkable that one of their product testers got drunk and lost the test model of the next iPhone iteration in a bar – you’d think they’d keep a better hold on their staff, given the tight rein they keep on everything else.
To read more about it, click here. Everything Gizmodo says about Apple’s PR is absolutely true and I agree with their certainty that the loss of the phone was not a stunt – it just doesn’t feel like an Apple thing to do. Bear in mind this tale I got from Guy Kawasaki: Apple, he says, are so secretive that they keep various part of the business in different buildings. If they could keep bits of it in different universes I’m sure they would.
There is a bigger question lurking in the wings of course, which is how will iAd, the much rumoured personalised mobile advertising platform supposedly due from Apple, change things for the company’s communications game? Don’t expect any news from Apple until they’re good and ready, though – not after the iPhone fiasco…