Apple does the best PRPosted: August 22, 2008
OK, so my little survey is far from statistically accurate but when asked: “who does the best PR?” Apple got over half the votes. 55% to be precise. Indeed the rest (Dell, IBM, Cisco, Intel and Microsoft) were bunched pretty tightly with only a few votes separating them. Now these results could be interpreted several ways:
1. You could argue that Apple is doing a great job with its PR. I struggle to agree with that. I think they’ve launched a great product that is getting tons of attention and their PR is therefore very visible. I wouldn’t say they have done bad PR but I equally wouldn’t say it has been great.
2. You could argue that this quick poll shows that people don’t really differentiate PR form other marketing forms. In other words the brands doing the most marketing get noticed the most whether it is through PR, advertising, sponsorship etc. Sadly I think there is some truth to this. Even PR people (who voted on this) judge these things at a very superficial level.
3. It could be that this poll doesn’t reflect who has done great PR but rather who has received the least negative PR. I firmly believe that we are in an era where people are more aware of negative PR than they are of positive PR. Indeed I’ve seen research for a client that proved this point. If this applies here it would suggest that Apple has received almost no bad PR in recent weeks. Aside form the concerns about Jobs health that surfaced I’d say that was true. Indeed given the potential for poor reviews of the iPhone thanks to its horrid battery life it could be argued they have very skillfully avoided bad press. Put another way, do a quick test and ask yourself what news you remember around any of the big companies right now. I can almost guarantee you can recall more negatives than positives.
In reality, the answer lies in a mix of all of the above. That sounds like a cop out I know but I think it is true. Apple has maximized the opportunities you get when you have a great consumer product (I think the iPhone is spectacular apart from its battery life issue). I also think it has managed to avoid bad press and commentary and instead get people focused on tips and tricks to solve the poor battery life issue (if you don’t believe me here just go online and see how many people have put up blog entries with ways to save your iPhone from dying). I also believe that this shows that when a company gets its overall marketing to be tightly integrated then people pay attention.