A few days after some tech PR executives told us that Apple “needs to address” a Consumer Reports report that did not recommend the iPhone 4 due to antenna issues, the company has said it will hold a press conference tomorrow, July 16th.
Apple rarely holds press conferences, besides those that are tied to the launches of its products and services. The press conference will be held at the company’s Cuptertino, CA headquarters at 10 A.M. Pacific time, but company spokespeople gave little details to the media besides that.
Some are continuing to ask if Apple will announce a recall of the phone. Regardless, announcing a press conference, as opposed to just posting a statement by Steve Jobs, as the company has done in the past, shows the seriousness of the issue.
We’re guessing it would surprise most PRNewser readers if we told you that Apple CEO Steve Jobs took time out of his day to respond to an unknown blogger about issues he was having with the iPhone 4.
“You are getting all worked up over a few days of rumors. Calm down,” Jobs “said” to the blogger in one of the emails sent last week. However, Apple PR is denying the emails came from Jobs himself.
Also, it should be noted that the blog that published the emails paid for them, and after publishing them admitted to one of them being not from Jobs himself.
Whether the emails are real or fake, it looks like the tactic, “I have an email from Steve Jobs himself,” is becoming quite a popular way to stir up attention. Also, getting Apple PR to respond to anything is quite an accomplishment in itself.
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.
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.
For all you PR professionals – especially those in the consumer tech space – who are taking this week off and gearing up for the behemoth Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas beginning January 7th, be warned: next week is Google’s week, or so the company hopes.
Google has a press conference planned for January 5th and rumors are swirling the event will be for the launch of its Nexus One phone, the first phone it will sell directly to consumers.
“Google’s announcement will likely kick off a crowded week for the technology industry and could perhaps overshadow any news to emerge from CES later in the week,” says CNET’s Tom Krazit.
AddsJohn Paczkowski of AllThingsD, “By scheduling the event just before the official start of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Jan. 7 (and hours before the first CES press briefings begin), the company would seem to be taking a page from the Steve Jobs‘s playbook – sucking some air out of the annual event. Remember, Apple (AAPL) upstaged CES in a very big way back in 2007 when it announced the iPhone.”