Apple’s ipod: What to do when the media creates a disaster?

August 1, 2006

The Chicago Tribune reporter blew it. Doing a story on the ipod they quoted an Apple spokesperson as saying the ipod would last only four years. Actually, the spokesperson, Natalie Kerris, said it would last “for years.”

Now this is on the one hand and understandable mistake. On the other hand, potentially devastating. The reporter and editors have an obligation to get something like this right. The implications for Apple on share price, on views of the company by its customers and competitors can be enormous. Planned obsolescense is an idea that was never very popular and that’s exactly what it sounds like Apple’s plan was.

The question for crisis communicators is what do you do about it. This came to my attention via AppleInsider. Here’s the story.

In my view, here is one of those relatively rare occasions where crisis pr and traditional pr can come together. I would broadcast as far and wide as possible the mistake made by the Chicago Tribune reporter. Get as much coverage as possible. It helps the brand. It’s good advertising. It clarifies the misunderstanding. It makes reporters covering Apple in the future far more cautious because they know the company is not going to simply allow poor reporting and editing to go unnoticed. Get the word out there. Why is this known only to “insiders?”

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2 Responses to “Apple’s ipod: What to do when the media creates a disaster?”

  1. Greg Ytunis Says:

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  2. gbaron Says:

    Go away, Greg.


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