by Sarah Shea, editor
Originally published on PROpenMic
When it comes to PR, Apple has it figured out. The company handles even the most secretive product releases virtually seamlessly. But what is the global technology giant to do when its founder and immediately former CEO passes away?
Change nothing. And that’s not to say the company disregarded Steve Jobs’ October 5 death; rather, it executed everything from the announcement to memoirs in the characteristically perfect way Apple does everything.
Just minutes after Jobs’ death was announced, Apple’s website featured a thoughtful photograph of Jobs himself. Apple’s statement about its founder’s death accompanied the black-and-white image, reading: ”Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.”
Like all things Apple, the statement is minimalistic, but more than sufficient. Viewers are even invited to offer “thoughts, memories and condolences” to a personalized email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As with most major Apple announcements, news of Jobs’ death went viral. Unsurprisingly, much of the information was distributed from devices that are Jobs’ brainchild. Tweets and Facebook updates streamed constantly from a slew of iPods, iPads, iPhones, MacBooks and iMacs.
Also unsurprisingly, Twitter saw a near-record number of tweets per second, nearly 6,049, according to a computerworld.com article. Trending topics included #iSad, #SteveJobs and #ThankYouSteve. The personalized messages seem especially poignant when you consider the sources — fingers wildly tapped iPhone touch screens and Mac’s signature keyboards.
In a CNET article titled “Twitter reacts with emotion to Steve Jobs’ death,” Leslie Katz reported just a few of many powerful tweets about the legacy Jobs left behind. Even Bill Gates, former CEO of Microsoft and arguably Jobs’ biggest competition, tweeted “For those of us lucky enough to get to work with Steve, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.”
Almost immediately, Jobs fans laced the Internet with a plethora of articles on Jobs, ranging from his impact on Pixar to the reason he always wore black turtlenecks.
Jobs’ impact is both enlightening and heartwarming. I imagine he’d be proud of the way Apple handled his passing — simply and tactfully.
Without Apple’s products, where would we be? And without its shining example of good PR, who would we strive to be?