A week on from its latest product announcement and we’re again in awe of Apple’s PR team. The world’s biggest and most influential tech company had the world’s media – both traditional and social – salivating in anticipation.
Its annual launch extravaganza is a master class in media manipulation, PR and marketing. Proceedings began when selected journalists were invited to the unveiling of Apple’s latest iPhone and iPad offerings – with the news of the press conference becoming a news story in itself.
From then on its extraordinarily effective PR machine switched into overdrive to shape and control coverage. Before any of us had set eyes on their new devices, cryptic clues and rumours were released on social media – and off the record briefings given to selected journalists.
Speculation built and the hashtag #AppleEvent began trending well before CEO Tim Cook’s speech in San Francisco – which of course was live-streamed. After a quick demonstration, new samples were placed into the eager hands of invited journalists – job done!
We remember the words of a journalist covering the launch of the Apple Watch earlier this year, describing the PR program as a “a masterful concerto of leaks, top-secret seeding with chosen developers, details shared through ‘sources’ to key technology writers and carefully placed pre-release reviews.”
But hype alone can’t explain the widespread anticipation ahead of its new releases – and the staggering level of analysis and coverage in the following days and weeks. No matter how good your PR, you’ll go out of business unless people want to buy what you’re offering.
Apple has an amazing track record of technical capabilities and clever products. The never-ending potential for greatness in new innovation is always at the core of any publicity – and consumers are prepared to pay a premium for them.
The iPhone wasn’t the world’s first smartphone – but its minimalist design and user-friendly screen kicked its competitors aesthetically into touch. To date, Apple devices haven’t lost their ‘cool factor’.
Apple is not the forbidden fruit – PR ensures it’s the one on everyone’s lips.