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Apple's public relations team pushing back in wake of bad press

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
While Apple in the past has taken a stealth approach to dealing with the media, the company's public relations department has stepped up its efforts in recent weeks in an attempt to counter some negative media reports about the company's performance.

Public relations


AppleInsider noted last week that Apple had "uncharacteristically" issued a press release heralding the launch of iOS 6.1. Fixes and additions in the software update were relatively minor, and such events do not usually garner a dedicated press release from Apple.

In addition to the more obvious, public changes, the company has also been working behind the scenes, according to The Wall Street Journal. In a report published on Tuesday, the publication noted that Apple's communications staff "recently sent reporters more favorable third-party reports about the company."

Among those reports was a study that predicts Apple will be as accepted in the enterprise by 2014 as Microsoft is today. Apple has reportedly sent reporters a total of five favorable studies since the start of the year, an unusually large number for the company.

While the changes are admittedly not a "big shift" for Apple, a source that spoke with the Journal did characterize them as "a recognition that competition is heating up."

Apple reported its holiday quarter earnings late last month, in which it revealed that its sales are growing at a slower rate than the breakneck pace seen in recent years. Investors quickly panicked and sent the stock plunging.

Negativity about Apple in recent weeks expressed by analysts and seen in media reports has been related to a number of issues. Among them are lower gross margins, a perception that Apple may have lost its "cool" factor to Android-based rivals like Samsung, and declining Mac sales in the same quarter that Microsoft debuted its new Windows 8 operating system.

Still others have dismissed those concerns, and see the likelihood for continued growth in Apple's future. Potential catalysts on the horizon include new iPhones and iPads, potential expansions of the iPhone lineup to both a less expensive model and a larger display, and the longstanding rumors of an Apple television set.
post #2 of 52

I mentioned last week that Apple might be getting a little more chatty than in the past. Looks like I'm not the only one thinking that.

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post #3 of 52
Forget press releases. Take a page out of Googles playbook and whenever your competition releases a new product, pay a bunch of bloggers to make up shit about it. "Just got my new S IV but it totally sucks. If I take a picture of the sun with my S IV I keep getting glare." "The new S IV I just got blows, if I throw it against the wall it breaks."
post #4 of 52
Press releases on things like 6.1 are less about competition and bad blog posts than simply wanting to make sure everywhere knows so they will mention it to their readers and folks will update.

Posting things like 3rd reports of product safety reviews etc is about bad press. Early talk of what is happening in the future, with details is about competition. And so on

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #5 of 52

It's been frustrating watching Apple go through this process but without some true innovation, it's surely going to continue.  Jimmy Kimmel landed it perfectly when he published that video showing that Apple had basically rebranded the iPod in a bunch of new sizes.  This isn't innovation and eventually Apple will have to pay the piper. 

post #6 of 52
Originally Posted by whoda View Post
Forget press releases. Take a page out of Googles playbook and whenever your competition releases a new product, pay a bunch of bloggers to make up shit about it. "Just got my new S IV but it totally sucks. If I take a picture of the sun with my S IV I keep getting glare." "The new S IV I just got blows, if I throw it against the wall it breaks."

 

Uh, no. Pretty simple; Apple has always played the game honestly. 

 

Screw anyone else that doesn't.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #7 of 52
Apple needed it. Samsung and Google have been known to have an army of commenters on popular blogs to promote the Android "religion" and the Samsung "religion".
post #8 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I mentioned last week that Apple might be getting a little more chatty than in the past. Looks like I'm not the only one thinking that.


That shift happened a year ago. Cook is more devoted to corporate citizenship.

post #9 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by winstein2010 View Post

Apple needed it. Samsung and Google have been known to have an army of commenters on popular blogs to promote the Android "religion" and the Samsung "religion".


So does Apple. In fact, there are more dedicated Apple-friendly blogs.

post #10 of 52
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post
So does Apple. In fact, there are more dedicated Apple-friendly blogs.

 

Are there? This seems a lot like counting sales at an Apple Store: sort of an impossible measurement.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #11 of 52
We're still only talking about press releases here. No earth-shattering PR or marketing campaigns right now.
post #12 of 52
Nothing speaks louder than a great product. Amp up the iPad mini and make sure the next iPhone and iPads are impressive upgrades and the stock will rise along with sales.
post #13 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


So does Apple. In fact, there are more dedicated Apple-friendly blogs.

 

Sponsoring or running blogs is one thing, but hiring people to spam public discussions (forums/blog comments/Twitter) is quite another.

 
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post #14 of 52
The WSJ misses the point, of couse. The increased PR is to counter the perverse press, WSJ included.

It's not about increased competition, but the perception of increased competition.

The WSJ's "story" about the drop in screen orders—from 65 million!—will live in infamy as targeted market manipulation. Obscenities to this rag.
Edited by Flaneur - 2/5/13 at 2:12pm
post #15 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Negativity about Apple in recent weeks expressed by analysts and seen in media reports has been related to a number of issues. Among them are lower gross margins, a perception that Apple may have lost its "cool" factor to Android-based rivals like Samsung, and declining Mac sales in the same quarter that Microsoft debuted its new Windows 8 operating system.
This is funny, because every time I (as a Mac user) say Apple should reinforce its Mac strategy, I get bashed by iToy hooligans claiming the Mac is irrelevant to Apple. It seems investors share my point of view, though.
post #16 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by bugsnw View Post

Nothing speaks louder than a great product. Amp up the iPad mini and make sure the next iPhone and iPads are impressive upgrades and the stock will rise along with sales.

This is correct, and they seem to be coming this year, as Apple's investments in screen technology start to pay off.

But meantime, there has never been in my memory such hostility to a successful American company, and that's going back some. In the 1960s, when Volkswagen and then Toyota et al. started making huge inroads into Detroit's hegemony, there were rather many "Buy American" campaigns in defense. Compare that with what you read on Cnet comments.

To repeat, as Gruber says, what exactly is it about Apple that makes people lose their minds?
post #17 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecs View Post

This is funny, because every time I (as a Mac user) say Apple should reinforce its Mac strategy, I get bashed by iToy hooligans claiming the Mac is irrelevant to Apple. It seems investors share my point of view, though.

Sorry you get beat up. Did I ever do that?

Anyway, the new iMacs show that they are really serious about that part of the Mac lineup. They risked a lot to do those screens and aluminum frames, and a lot of people don't get it, a sure sign that they're ahead of the game. And then there's the retina Macbooks.

The Pro I don't know about, but Tim said . . . etc. And he isn't the sort of guy who would mislead his customers.
post #18 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by winstein2010 View Post

to promote the Android "religion" and the Samsung "religion".

 

Is this is a serious post? If so it is absolutely hilarious!

post #19 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoda View Post

Forget press releases. Take a page out of Googles playbook and whenever your competition releases a new product, pay a bunch of bloggers to make up shit about it. 

Citation? I've not seen any reputable source claim that. With that said, who do you think are the Google-friendly equivalents of Walt Mossberg, Siegler, David Pogue or Gruber?

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post #20 of 52

Actually the most annoying ones are those fake MSFT fans, the number of +ve comments on Win Phone or Win RT/Surface on the web are totally disproportional to the number of customers they actually have. AAPL and GOOG fans, at least we know people are actually using their products so it's normal to have fans.

post #21 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by auxio View Post

Sponsoring or running blogs is one thing, but hiring people to spam public discussions (forums/blog comments/Twitter) is quite another.

 

Neither side has to hire spammers.  

 

There are plenty of testosterone fueled young males on the internet, who do this all on their own.  1biggrin.gif

 

It's been that way since the beginning.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

The WSJ misses the point, of couse. The increased PR is to counter the perverse press, WSJ included.

It's not about increased competition, but the perception of increased competition.

The WSJ's "story" about the drop in screen orders—from 65 million!—will live in infamy as targeted market manipulation. Obscenities to this rag.

 

The targeted market manipulation was pure capitalism, not actually "negative press" per se.

post #22 of 52

What's so wrong with Apple being a little bit more open?  A couple weeks ago The Verge published an indepth report on design at Google.  I believe the piece was entitled Larry Page's design revolution at Google.  There were quotes from Google employees in the piece.  Essentially it was good PR for Google's UI/App design.  And right now the meme in the tech press and broader media is that Google and Microsoft are running laps around Apple in terms of software design.  I understand that Apple can't respond to all the negativity out there but I think they could show their brand a little bit more love.  Especially when Samsung is spending $12B+ in marketing and advertising.

post #23 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Uh, no. Pretty simple; Apple has always played the game honestly. 

Screw anyone else that doesn't.

Proof that Google pays anyone needed.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #24 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Citation? I've not seen any reputable source claim that. With that said, who do you think are the Google-friendly equivalents of Walt Mossberg, Siegler, David Pogue or Gruber?

Exactly. If anyone's getting paid it's those guys.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
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post #25 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

What's so wrong with Apple being a little bit more open?  A couple weeks ago The Verge published an indepth report on design at Google.  I believe the piece was entitled Larry Page's design revolution at Google.  There were quotes from Google employees in the piece.  Essentially it was good PR for Google's UI/App design.  And right now the meme in the tech press and broader media is that Google and Microsoft are running laps around Apple in terms of software design.  I understand that Apple can't respond to all the negativity out there but I think they could show their brand a little bit more love.  Especially when Samsung is spending $12B+ in marketing and advertising.

You've watched that video then? Were you surprised to hear the comment that a lot of Google employees carry iPhones at work, which Google actually encourages?

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post #26 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Citation? I've not seen any reputable source claim that. With that said, who do you think are the Google-friendly equivalents of Walt Mossberg, Siegler, David Pogue or Gruber?

 

I think he's talking about people like you. 1wink.gif

post #27 of 52

This is nonsense. A $250B drop in market cap deserves more than tepid, vapid press releases.

 

Cook needs to up his game in communicating with investors. To get out there and aggressively confront wealth destruction on such a massive based on FUD has to surely command his attention and be an important part of his job!? I wonder, is the BoD not pressuring him to do/say something?

 

I am quite stunned -- and deeply disappointed -- by the silence from Apple's top management.

post #28 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Exactly. If anyone's getting paid it's those guys.

So you're going on record that any or all of these guys are paid by Apple? Your reputation is at stake.
post #29 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

So you're going on record that any or all of these guys are paid by Apple? Your reputation is at stake.

I didn't make a claim that they're getting paid. Reputation intact.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #30 of 52

I'm sure AI feels it's being helpful with this post, but it really just makes Apple look laughable.

 

Until Cook decides it finally time to go "thermonuclear" Apple is going to have it's ass handed to it.

post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

I'm sure AI feels it's being helpful with this post, but it really just makes Apple look laughable.

 

Until Cook decides it finally time to go "thermonuclear" Apple is going to have it's ass handed to it.

 

Who is exactly "handing Apple's ass" to it? I'm curious, since the company posted the best revenue/profit/sales in its history last quarter? This myth of Apple stumbling is hilarious. iPhone sales have never been higher, and it sells more than any other phone on the planet. iPad domination is just increasing. All the company's metrics are up. Yes, except for the stock. But that is completely disconnected from performance, and is based on nothing but random emotional sentiment. 

 

There's nothing in that press release list that is "laughable", they're all pretty major stories. Major appstore milestone, quarterly earnings results, new product release, iOS update.. I don't see anything that shouldn't be there. 

 

As for marketing, I'm glad that Apple is one of the few large companies that actually seems to spend money responsibly, and decides against throwing shitloads of money down the toilet for a superbowl ad. 

post #32 of 52

Apple always has a press release for major iOS updates. When the release is tied to a product, it gets rolled into the product press release, but when they release a new one alone it gets its own press release. Obviously 6, 5.1 and 5 were tied to products. So the last one was 4.3:

 

http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/03/02Apple-Introduces-iOS-4-3.html

 

The only interesting aspect of 6.1 was it had so few new features. Maybe it'd didn't seem worthy of a press release but it's not unusual behaviour.

post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

This is nonsense. A $250B drop in market cap deserves more than tepid, vapid press releases.

 

Cook needs to up his game in communicating with investors. To get out there and aggressively confront wealth destruction on such a massive based on FUD has to surely command his attention and be an important part of his job!? I wonder, is the BoD not pressuring him to do/say something?

 

I am quite stunned -- and deeply disappointed -- by the silence from Apple's top management.

Agreed.  Wouldn't hurt to let other executives get time with the press either.  In 2011 and 2012 Jony Ive spoke at British design/business conferences yet Apple PR wouldn't allow his remarks to be made public.  Last year he was interviewed at a British business summit around the time of the Olympics.  Video of the event was broadcast live online, except for Ive's bit.  While he was being interviewed the live stream was taken offline,

 

I think Apple could afford to be a bit more open, especially when you have other companies putting more emphasis on Apple's bread and butter - design.  When Microsoft introduced the Surface they spent most of the keynote focusing on the design of the product.  Google obviously is putting a lot more focus on software design and doesn't mind telling the world about it.  And surprise, surprise, the media meme out there is that Google has surpassed Apple in Software/UI design.

 

if I was Cook and the SVP's I'd be pissed with the perception out there that Apple is screwed without Steve.  I'd want to do everything possible to prove that Apple's success wasn't all down to Steve. Being closed off may have worked when Apple really was the underdog, but I don't think it does anymore.  I mean look at all the product leaks last year alone.  Being so secretive is getting harder and harder to do.

post #34 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


So does Apple. In fact, there are more dedicated Apple-friendly blogs.


what blog is Apple-friendly nowadays? Gimme a break even Macrumors is filled with Android fanatics.

post #35 of 52

I wish Apple would just spent a few billion dollars in marketing to counter the plethora of BS ads by Samsung. The latter's ads are an assault to my senses.

post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

I'm sure AI feels it's being helpful with this post, but it really just makes Apple look laughable.

 

Until Cook decides it finally time to go "thermonuclear" Apple is going to have it's ass handed to it.

Actually at the moment Apple is only in courts with Samsung. Cook has pretty much stopped the whole litigation thing. The whole predicament of Apple has NOTHING to do with the thermonuclear. Apple haters just use it as an excuse to legitimize their irrational hatred for Apple.

post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

What's so wrong with Apple being a little bit more open?  A couple weeks ago The Verge published an indepth report on design at Google.  I believe the piece was entitled Larry Page's design revolution at Google.  There were quotes from Google employees in the piece.  Essentially it was good PR for Google's UI/App design.  And right now the meme in the tech press and broader media is that Google and Microsoft are running laps around Apple in terms of software design.  I understand that Apple can't respond to all the negativity out there but I think they could show their brand a little bit more love.  Especially when Samsung is spending $12B+ in marketing and advertising.


Gimme a break. That article was a like flame to the legions of Android/Google/Samsung moths who search the web for everything proGoogle and Samsung and anti Apple. It doesnt matter how Apple does it will never change their opinions. The best way to deal with those is to do more of what they hate. Apple should spend more $$$ on marketing their products evreywhere to really rub it in their faces.

post #38 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by winstein2010 View Post

Apple needed it. Samsung and Google have been known to have an army of commenters on popular blogs to promote the Android "religion" and the Samsung "religion".

Those religions' acolytes worship their idols online in forums and the blogosphere.

Apple's acolytes worships in line at the Apple Store, with credit cards in hand.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #39 of 52

A couple of lame press releases is not what's needed to push back against the FUD.

post #40 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

I'm sure AI feels it's being helpful with this post, but it really just makes Apple look laughable.

Until Cook decides it finally time to go "thermonuclear" Apple is going to have it's ass handed to it.

No, it actually makes AppleInsider look bad. Mac sales declined in the same quarter Windows 8 debut. So? Correlation does not equate to causation. AppleInsider is a source of noise, not elucidation. Woe unto me for expecting them to spell check their articles like a pro site.

Probably the worst line they included was some unattributed claim that Apple has lost it's "cool factor," however that is unscientifically measured. Who said that? Got a citation? Or is AppleInsider just throwing sticks at Apple to pad an otherwise uneventful two-line article about Apple releasing some press release?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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