I have asked six people with senior positions in techie professions who they thought "does great PR" in the tech sector. Now these individuals are not in marketing and PR functions, so you'll forgive my casual turn of phrase I hope.
You might know I detest the idea that you might "PR something", as if PR is as tactical and atomic as picking up the phone or putting a release on a wire, but I deliberately didn't wish to infect them with my view of public relations excellence. I wanted to hear what they'd say unprompted, unguided.
Each proffered two or three companies. Samsung and IBM were mentioned twice. Google thrice. But out front with four mentions was Apple.
Now anyone who follows the world's first or second largest publicly traded corporation in the world by market capitalization (it swaps places regularly with Exxon Mobil) will know that they're actually quite a secretive bunch. Steve Jobs infected the company with the idea that it knows what's best for the customer, and any idea that it should work with the rest of us in defining future products and services appears plain counter-cultural.
If you, like me, define public relations as pursuing mutual understanding to build goodwill, the PR function at Apple appears quite asymmetric. As and when it suits its agenda, they'll tell you. Otherwise get back in line. End of. I always feel a reluctance on Apple's part to discuss its contractors' labour practices, its own environmental and business practices, and the occasional product mess up. Read more