The ‘Little People’ Matter

Mar 1st, 2012 | By | Category: Featured Articles, High Tech, News, Public relations

A few years ago I gave a talk on PR to a group of hi-tech entrepreneurs. It was a detailed presentation but at the very end, I reminded them what must have been the first thing we learned about PR. That is, one’s reputation begins at the front line – the first “port of call” so to speak. This could be the receptionist answering the phone, or the man at the security desk. It’s often the ‘little things’ that one may overlook, that could leave a lasting impression with the customer.

Rumors and controversy aside, Apple is boasting a market value today of $500 billion. At that figure, it may feel that it doesn’t have to worry about the ‘little things’ (like workers manufacturing its iPads in slave like conditions) because its products are so popular. I do recall my own experience waiting for my husband outside an Apple store in London ( for ages) when all he wanted was to purchase a couple of accessories. And I have heard from friends who have also received shoddy customer service in the Company’s stores in the US.

The company can afford to hire the top PR people in the business. They can invest in the best brains in the world to create the most phenomenal products. They can even pour millions into developing data centers, research centers and more. But at the end of the day, the fact that it is such a powerful company, is what makes it even more pertinent to look at the ‘little people’. These ‘little people’ are the ones that make their products, and the ones who come into their stores to spend their hard earned cash (something that most people do not take lightly anymore) to purchase them.

One or two negative stories about Apple are not going to dent their $500 billion value too much. Not now anyway… This doesn’t mean they can just ignore the bad press either. Apple does realize this too ( could it be coincidence that CEO Tim Cook recently addressed its shareholders for the first time since Steve Jobs passing). Let’s hope they sincerely care, not only about correcting the bad press – but about us ‘little people’ too.

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