IBM is the past, present and future of the computer world. If I were in charge of their PR response to alleged Nazi support, I would have run a campaign titled 'Changing the World,' a simple advertisement highlighting IBM's worldly and noble accomplishments. They hosted the Sydney Olympic Web site and were probably involved in other noble accomplishments like NASA, medical advances and other historical military moments. I would format the advertisement in a time-line to show the dozens of events IBM has been involved in since Germany's 1930's purchase of an IBM punch card computer.
VP of Communications
In today's world where news travels in seconds around the globe, there can only be one over-arching PR strategy: openness and transparency.
This is especially true when you're talking about events that happened decades ago. Organizations bent on rewriting history fail, period. One mistake that organizations can make when confronting their past is to wish it goes away. It won't. Others use the excuse 'we weren't around at that time - don't blame us.' Both of these strategies are cop-outs. Take it on, get to the facts and communicate openly, honestly and with transparency. And don't spin. Spinning is just another word for lying