If you were planning on striking a partnership with Apple during the Steve Jobs era, you had better hope Apple’s then-CEO liked the name of your company.
Jobs laid the foundation for how Apple’s public relations team currently works. In particular, Jobs was very specific about the way Apple’s press releases should be written, as 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman revealed in his feature about Apple’s relationship with the media.
A former Apple PR employee told Gurman that Jobs made the team scrap an entire press release announcing a new partnership simply because he wasn’t fond of the name of the partner.
He then re-wrote the entire press release himself so that he could work around this issue, and Jobs’ revised copy didn’t mention the partner’s name once.
This anecdote, according to Gurman, sums up the philosophy behind Apple’s public relations team. Along with Apple’s former head of PR Katie Cotton, Jobs instituted a rule for press releases announcing new Apple partnerships. These releases were to be wholly written and distributed by Apple.
“It was our way or the highway,” a former Apple employee told Gurman.
Jobs was adamant that Apple’s PR team wrote the first drafts of press releases — not employees from the marketing or business sectors. From there, Cotton and Jobs would look over the release and edit and re-write it as needed. Gurman notes that this process within Apple is likely to remain the same moving forward.
Cotton retired from Apple in July, after spending many years working with Jobs and shaping the way Apple communicates with the press. According to Re/code, Apple CEO Tim Cook is currently looking outside the company for someone “friendlier” and “more approachable.”