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Steve Job: PR Innovator (1955-2011) October 6, 2011

Posted by jforristal in Uncategorized.

Steve Jobs co-founder and CEO of Apple passed away yesterday afternoon after a long battle with chronic illness.

The out powering of support for Job’s work and creations has been plentiful. A pioneer of the Silicon Valley tech movement, he should no doubt be included in the likes of Einstein, Carnegie, and Edison. Jobs not only built an extremely successful computer empire, but changed the way we interact with technology forever.

Jobs greatest successes came later in life, highlighted by successful products like the iPod, iPad, and iPhone. His innovations have proven countlessly useful and the world should be thankful. His business legacy will stand for a long time, but he also left a legacy central to how we will view public relations and marketing for a long time.

Jobs was a PR genius.

Everyone is aware of how carefully marketed Apple products are. From sleek designs to savvy advertising campaigns, Apple created an image and a brand more powerful and recognizable that few can top.

Jobs was a king of the product-launch. He urged super-secrecy within his company, which he felt led to intense public anticipation. Not just the technology community, but consumers as well frantically await Apple’s announcements. Apple never announces products at tech shows or conventions, but hosts their own conferences, packed withjournalists, bloggers and industry leaders, to release new products. Almost everyone can visualize the minimalist, black background with Jobs explaining the new Apple iPad. His legacy lives on as industry giants like Facebook and Amazon copy Job’s style with their own product announcements.

Here Jobs is announcing the release of the MacBook Air.

Jobs was a mastermind of image. His trademark black turtleneck, Levis and white tennis shoes are synonymous with the sleek, minimal, and cool. Job’s message never faltered.  He was able to own his message. Jobs was able to produce products that people never thought they needed, but after hearing Job’s pitch, people could not live without.

Sarah Skerik, VP of social media for PR Newswire, imagines what Jobs would have done as a PR professional:

  • He would have owned social channels for the brand he represented, and he would have used social media to build enthusiastic audiences for his brand.
  • He would have been excruciatingly deliberate in the communications he crafted.  His messaging would, I am sure, have been elegant, tightly-edited, and bang on message. And the message? It would have been exactly what his audience wanted to hear. Nothing that was less than perfect or less than compelling would have made it out the door.
  • He would have locked down all the details, and harnessed the real synergies that exist between PR, SEO, social media and marketing.

Job’s products were all about the consumers. They were user friendly, stylish, and efficient. That is the way PR communications should be. A persistent focus on the audience should never be compromised. PR professionals are supposed to make things easier. While it is important to spin and convey and consistent message, it is also essential to consider the audience. It is important to understand the demands of journalists and understand the needs of consumers and adapt to their environment.

Jobs as a PR professional would have been consistent, enthusiastic and efficient. That is the legacy he left for the business and technology industry. It is the same message the PR industry should take away.



1. jordancalgaro - October 15, 2011

Great post John – you are right…Steve Jobs left behind a strong legacy that is important for everyone to understand, especially the Public Relations Industry. Being consistent, enthusiastic and efficient is something that sounds easy, but is surely not. What great advice that is.

Steve Jobs was certainly a legend in the technology world, a legend in the marketing world, and a legend in branding. Not only did he build a global brand, but he built a personal brand as well. You are right in that few can top the accomplishments and innovations of Apple…all because of Steve Jobs.

2. sarko3 - October 29, 2011

Nicely done blog about Steve Jobs. Although most of us don’t personally know him, I think I speak for many students our age in saying that we felt some sort of connection to him due to his large impact on our generation. So much of how we communicate today would’ve been different without his genius inventions and innovations to technology. Thank you for highlighting his dedication to what he did during his lifetime that will impact our lifetimes and the lives of others in generations to come.

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