We’ve been talking with many digital PR executives this week, about how the Apple company mantra of secrecy and anti-transparency goes against so much of what we hear from the likes of digital communicaitons agencies, publications such as Mashable, companies such as Zappos and the latest Edelman Trust Barometer which said, “trust and transparency are as important to corporate reputation as the quality of products and services.”
And yet the company seems to suffer no consequences.
As one VP of digital at a large agency told us this week, “Their formula: Steve Jobs, big events with new products, a few coordinated press leaks, works for them. Not every brand can do that.”
PRNewser was intrigued this morning when we saw what seemed like an impromptu video interview between Steve Jobs and The Wall Street Journal‘s Walt Mossberg at the iPad launch event. (Video posted above – skip to 2:50 for the Jobs interview.)
While the interview did seem “impromptu,” as with most interviews with someone of Jobs’ stature, it was highly coordinated.
Reuters gives a first hand account of the scene:
Most of the people gathered around Jobs and Mossberg were not fellow reporters hunting for a quote, but a squad of no-nonsense, plain-clothed Apple staffers who had formed a human cordon around their leader. The only other person allowed within the safe zone was Mossberg, and any reporters who attempted to get near were physically blocked and pushed back.
Conversations with Apple staff about the iPad itself proved equally trying, with the mere act of getting a company spokesperson to confirm or clarify a fact feeling like an exercise in the theatre of the absurd.
“How do I spell your name?” this reporter asked an Apple staffer following a short conversation to confirm certain basic features of the iPad.
“That’s not available for you,” the staffer replied, in an eerily robotic tone.
So there you have it.