Stonewall PR can be amazingly effective depending on the desired goals, but it can be amazingly arrogant at the same time, which in of itself is just bad PR.
In case you missed it, Apple CEO Steve Jobs allegedly got in an e-mail tiff with a journalism student seeking information from Apple's communications department. Long Island University student Chelsea Kate Isaacs reached out to the company's PR department for a story about the use of the iPad in academia.
She left several messages but got no response, so she eventually e-mailed Jobs himself directly on the matter. His response:
“Our goals do not include helping you get a good grade. Sorry.”
And after a series of professional and seemingly cordial replies from Isaacs, Jobs ends the e-mail exchange by saying, “Please leave us alone.”
Without mincing words, this is an astonishing statement from the leader and brain trust of one of the most important tech companies on the planet. Jobs and his media team may want to be left alone, but I am sure they still want the world to buy their gadgets.
A “celebrity” tech company such as Apple I am sure gets a multitude of media interview and information requests. But there has to better way than just granting interviews to the WSJ and The New York Times and snubbing everyone else.
Jobs may see no value in talking to a Long Island journalism student, but I am sure he likes it when the mainstream media gives him front page Apple coverage. If this e-mail string really is from Jobs, this makes me want to return Apple products I've yet to buy.