Steve Jobs used to read and approve every Apple press release

In the 2000s, if you wrote a press release for Apple, you could be sure that then-CEO Steve Jobs would read it, according to an article published in the Harvard Business Review on Wednesday.

Turns out, the trick to a great press release is easy: write simply and clearly. If a draft wasn’t easy to understand, Jobs wouldn’t approve it. Former Apple communications representative Cameron Craig writes:

Any hint of jargon, cliché, or techno mumbo-jumbo would be removed in the editing process. If a “mere mortal” couldn’t understand our language, then we had failed. And failure was not an option. Steve Jobs read and personally approved every press release.

Other tips that Craig picked up from 10 years of Apple communications:

  • Don’t spam reporters
  • Offer hands-on briefings before providing access to executives
  • Decline requests that don’t make sense
  • Work with a small media list — Craig says Apple focused on “cultivating close relationships” with 5-10 “influencers”

Craig left before the Tim Cook era, so no word on if Apple’s CEO still reads every single press release.

Still, Craig’s post is a quick read and completely worth your time, especially if you work in the media industry.

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