PR Lessons From Apple

Today, Apple responded to Lodsys on the patent infringement claims made against iOS developers using in-app purchase. [Apple's response](http://www.macworld.com/article/160031/2011/05/apple_legal_lodsys_letter_text.html) was firm, thorough and made it clear that Lodsys' claims would not be taken lightly.

[John Gruber added this situation](http://daringfireball.net/2011/05/measure_twice) to the list of Apple PR reactions that illustrate the companies approach to dealing with "crises". They take their time to respond. They don't issue half-assed press releases. Apple lets the media and the Internet flameout in a frenzy before issuing a clear and direct response on its own terms.

Similar patterns are visible in most things that Apple does. Obviously I'm making generalizations but there is a pattern.

A product release from a [typical](http://www.microsoft.com/windowsphone/en-ca/default.aspx) [company](http://ca.blackberry.com/playbook-tablet/) usually goes like this:

1. Press release issued with a vague idea for a product
2. Hype
3. Hype
4. More hype
5. Delay with hype
6. Release with hype and a side-order of hype
7. Patch with hype
8. Release hyped sales numbers

Dealing with a PR crisis [usually proceeds](http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/17/sony-chief-defends-response-to-playstation-data-breach/?partner=rss&emc=rss) as follows.

1. Panicked press release that downplays the problem
2. Hyped up noise
3. More noise
3. Admission that the problem is bigger than expected
4. Glossy releases that bend the truth
5. Back to the usual volume of noisy press releases

Apple's product releases and crisis management go like this.

1. Silence
2. Product released/Press release that firmly deals with the issue at hand
3. Silence

The same practice applied to products *and* PR problems. What a crazy idea. It seems to work pretty well though.