9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman, who’s about as good an Apple reporter as you’ll find, has just written an extensive series about Apple’s PR operations and how it springs into action to stomp out any stories that paint the company in a negative light. To cite one particular example, Gurman describes how Apple worked to discredit a Reuters report that questioned whether Apple was doing enough to make its products more accessible to people with disabilities.
Apparently, Reuters had asked Apple to comment on the record about its reporting and Apple steadfastly refused and pushed Reuters to include more excerpts that Tim Cook gave where he mentioned the need to do more for people with disabilities, which presumably would have painted the company in a more positive light. Reuters called Apple’s bluff and said that because the entire speech was public record, it shouldn’t have to quote parts that Apple pushed it to quote.
To combat this report, Apple made sure to let a bunch of Apple bloggers know that Reuters had failed to report the entire context of the speech. Soon enough, those blogs were soon out in full force questioning the veracity and honesty of Reuters‘ report.
Amazingly, Apple did all this without once making an on-the-record statement, which Gurman says is a time-tested strategy of the company.
“Their strategy is to say nothing,” says one of Gurman’s sources. “It keeps everyone guessing what Apple is up to, generates free publicity, and keeps them out of the trouble everyone gets into. Once you start answering questions, you get your foot in your mouth.”Apple public relations strategies: Say nothing | BGR