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In the 2000s, if you wrote a press release for Apple, then you could be sure that then-CEO Steve Jobs would read it, according to an article published in the Harvard Business Review on Wednesday.
Turns out that the trick to a great press release is easy: Write simply and clearly. If a draft wasn’t easy to understand, then Jobs wouldn’t approve it. Former Apple communications representative Cameron Craig writes:
“Any hint of jargon, cliché, or techno mumbo-jumbo would be removed in the editing process. If a ‘mere mortal’ couldn’t understand our language, then we had failed. And failure was not an option. Steve Jobs read and personally approved every press release.”
Other tips that Craig picked up from 10 years of Apple communications:
- Don’t spam reporters. Offer hands-on briefings before providing access to executives. Decline requests that don’t make sense. Work with a small media list. Craig says that Apple focused on “cultivating close relationships” with five to 10 “influencers.”
Craig left before the Tim Cook era, so no word on if Apple’s CEO still reads every press release.
Still, Craig’s post is a quick read and worth your time, especially if you work in the media industry.