With Apple’s MacWorld conference taking place yesterday, the conversation was centered around CEO Steve Job‘s health, as much, if not more than any new product releases. We won’t get into the entire story, as many others have already completely outlined it. However, the basic gist of things is that Apple abruptly cancelled Job’s appearance at the annual conference, sparking rumors (again) that his health was in decline. Apple denied any health issues, but then Job’s himself issued a statement on his condition, leading some to claim the company hadn’t been forthwright in their communication.
Web 2.0 is all about transparency, so you need to be aware that I am also familiar with the person who helps lead Apple’s PR department. Steve Dowling used to be CNBC’s Silicon Valley bureau chief. He’s all too familiar with how business journalists get to the truth. After he left CNBC to work at Apple, he helped set up interviews with Jobs for me during my time at Headline News.
San Miguel illustrates that Apple’s extremely tight lipped PR methods just don’t work well in today’s media environment:
Still, if Web 2.0 and the new media are teaching Apple and the rest of us anything, it’s that you ultimately don’t have control if you don’t buy into transparency, and it’s my sincere hope that Dowling is preaching that message internally. In the 21st Century, stories escape their masters much sooner than they used to.
How do you think Apple could have handled the Job’s health issue differently?