Sunday, 18 November 2007

Apple PR - not good at having a conversation

Apple is an interesting company. Highly innovative and successful although by all accounts particularly in PR terms very controlling. Fortune magazine this week has highlighted the company getting caught out when being asked questions about the iPhone launch by a Channel 4 journalist.

Interesting example of networked story and movemement between mass media and blogsphere. Here is approximate timetable:

1. Apple has major launch of iPhone with set piece press event coinciding with people queuing to get the first units at its Oxfor Street HQ. Friday 9th Nov.

2. Interview by Benjamin Graham, Technology Editor of ITN/Channel 4 News takes sceptical note and highlighting range of concerns. In Apple terms goes from bad to worse with interview with Schiller, Apple VP Marketing when it turns to iTunes and iPhone and monopoly. Interview terminated and Channel 4 team get thrown out of event. Note journalists were pretty sceptical of event - is it because Apple has poor relations with UK technology media. Anyway news piece runs on Channel 4 main news programme at 7pm. Also goes up on Channel 4 web site.

3. Whole interview including outtakes from Channel 4 put up on YouTube by user (what is his or her agenda and background?). This attracts widespread interest, over 20,000 people have accessed this video compared with low hundreds for the other Apple iPhone videos. Video put up on Nov.9th. The interview extract has according to YouTube becomes the most popular video in Germany in Science and Technology section on YouTube.

4. Rupert Goodwin, major UK technology commentator has story on his blog on ZDNet, a major technology publishing and media online operation. He had story on the same day, 9th Nov. and then returned to it again on the 12th Nov.

5. Story picked up by leading West Coast blog site called Valleywag on November 15th. Further 7000 pick up the story from Valleywag.

6. Story also spreads to Dutch technology blog site.

7. Story goes mainstream again on mass media when Fortune picks up (17th Nov)from Valleyway site on its web site. I don't think it is in the current issue of the magazine (European edition) which I get but may be next week.

8. Search on Google News suggests that story is widening. Picked up by Robert Scobie, another influential west coast blogger. Also 17th Nov. Also gone into mobile trade and technical media

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