Since Apple's problems with the iPhone 4 seemed to arise almost immediately after PRWeek's Power List went to press, the Power List "curse" has become a bit of a joke around PRWeek's offices. This year, Katie Cotton, VP of worldwide communications and CEO Steve Jobs took the top spot for their highly secretive, and often frustrating, communications approach.
So, does all of the hoopla surrounding the company's initial response to the iPhone 4 problems mean that it was a bad choice? Not necessarily. Speaking from inside the decision process, it's not that PRWeek's editors claimed that Apple was the model of communications, but no one can deny that the company's communications team is powerful. The fact that it can make headlines by merely announcing a press conference illustrates the power that it has — over the media and customers. And despite some fallout from Jobs' approach to the problem, the reviews of his communications and marketing strategy have been generally favorable.
From The New York Times:
"Some marketing experts said Mr. Jobs had been effective at deflecting a potentially damaging crisis and predicted Apple would suffer little damage from the antenna ruckus.
'It is inexcusable that this problem was not found out in advance,' said Peter Sealey, a former chief marketing officer of the Coca-Cola Company, who teaches at the School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. But he said Mr. Jobs 'did what he needed to do. He is the best marketing guy in America, and this is just a bump in the road.' "
What do you think of Apple's handling of its recent crisis? Was its top spot on the Power List warranted?