I’ve bought a lot of Apple products over the years, even though I’ve been consciously choosing other alternatives the past few. Granted I’ve got a horse in this race, but here’s how I would prefer Apple communicate:
- Get your CEO to either talk, or not. Put some skin in the game, put your rep on the line with attributed statements. The lack of confirmation, denial, or clarification from Apple PR about rumored quotes from The Great Man is telling.
- Can that “controlled leak” strategy. Stop relying on “inside sources” to float trial balloons like “Bing on iPhone”. Deal honestly with partners and the public.
- Let your employees speak. I’ve seen a few Apple staff bloggers and tweeters, but precious few, and even fewer of those speak about their work. When Adobe hosted the first iPhone DevCamp there were Apple employees who did not disclose their affiliation; when I attended MIX06 I saw Apple employees who said they worked for Yahoo! or other companies.
- Urge your external evangelists to speak with attribution, and put their own personal rep on the line. The sheer number of pro-Apple comments filed under untraceable names like “ken” or “steve” does not, in a post-EllieLight world, inspire confidence. Urge your fans to avoid acting as marketing interns would.
- Reduce the unprecedented contractual secrecy; let partners speak as freely as they speak of other initiatives in the industry.
Folks in Cupertino don’t have to listen to me. I’m just going on-the-record here with how I’d prefer they act. It’s their call what to do.
(PS: Add one more request, to people in Apple PR, please don’t send an email complaining about this post to Adobe PR. There’s a comment field here which you can use to communicate your concerns more effectively. If you’re a person who stands up for your beliefs, I’d like to learn more of what’s important to you, thanks.)