Ever since I started writing about Apple about five years ago, the company has been a stone fortress to me.I have tried reaching out a couple of times, to establish what I hoped would be a mutually beneficial relationship, but my emails have gone unanswered.
So I have just worked with Apple information from other sources.
And, over the last five years, I have probably written a hundred thousand words about the company. (That’s the equivalent of a book.)
From reading other reports about Apple, I gather that some journalists have been welcomed into the Apple fold–given tickets to hot product launch events, given “review” models of new gadgets, given private access to Apple executives, and so forth.
I certainly wouldn’t mind having those things–it would be fun and informative to actually talk to someone who works at Apple sometime. I’d probably learn something. And whatever I learned would be helpful to you, our readers, because then I’d be smarter and better-informed when I wrote about Apple. And who wouldn’t want to be the only guy on the block who has a new Apple gadget that hasn’t even been released yet?
For whatever reason, though, I haven’t been invited into the Apple fold.
Colleagues tell me that this is because I have occasionally written things about Apple that Apple doesn’t like. They say Apple carefully selects and cultivates certain journalists and that the silent treatment that I get is actually a tactic that Apple uses to try to get other journalists to shut up.
If that’s the reason Apple hasn’t responded to my emails, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time a company has tried this tack.
Companies often behave this way when everything is great, and they’re on top of the world. In these periods, the companies are so red hot, and journalists and analysts are so desperate to talk to them, that the companies can often influence coverage merely by bestowing gifts (access, previews, information) on some people and shutting out others.
But, eventually, the “untouchable” period always comes to an end. At that point, the companies often become human again. And when they do, they often drop the chips from their shoulders and start to behave more fairly and professionally.
As a journalist who writes about Apple all the time, I hope that Apple’s recent travails will eventually lead to a similar transformation in the company’s communications approach. Importantly, a new approach would only help the company. And it would be better for the world’s Apple readers, too. Speaking personally, I’m sure that there are a lot of things that Apple executives could tell me that would help me understand Apple and Apple’s industry better. And if I understand Apple better, I can help you understand it better.
The good news is, based on a report this morning from the Wall Street Journal, it sounds like Apple’s ice fortress may indeed be starting to thaw.
Apple has apparently gotten so frustrated with all the gloomy stories that are being written about its prospects that it has started proactively emailing some journalists with good news about the company.
I, personally, am a big fan of Apple–my household owns about a dozen Apple products–and I write about Apple constantly. So if there’s some good Apple news that I have been unaware of, I would certainly like to be made aware of it.
But I’m not going to beg. And I’m tired of sending emails into a black hole.
So I’ll just ask nicely one more time. And, hopefully, someday, for both Apple’s sake and mine, I’ll get a response.
I write about you all the time, and I would love to establish a relationship with you.
I will be glad to stop by and visit you next time I am in the Valley. I will also give you my email and phone number. I will invite you to call or email me anytime you think I (or anyone on my team) has written something in which you think I/we are missing something important. I won’t embarrass you by instantly printing your email–I will assume that you want almost all of our communications to be on background. I will take what you have to say seriously, and, if I feel I have made a mistake or been unfair, I will change what I have said.
In return, I would like to be able to email or call you once in a while when I have some serious questions to ask you that won’t be a waste of your time. I would like to have you respond to my emails–and then, hopefully, sometimes, actually discuss some of my questions with me.
This prospective relationship, I should stress, will only help you. As many other companies that I have relationships with will tell you, I am reasonable and professional. I also have been writing about this industry for a long time, both as a Wall Street analyst and a journalist, so I (hopefully) won’t waste your time with a lot of dumb questions.
Importantly, I don’t have an agenda when it comes to Apple. And it just feels a bit weird to write thousands of words a week about your company without ever once having a conversation or communication with you.
Thank you in advance.
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