Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Journalism student recognises bad 'Apple' PR

'Leave us alone', Apple chief Jobs tells journalism student

Posted: September 20, 2010

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs has reportedly come out swinging against a journalism student in an email exchange during which she sought comment from Apple, telling her to "leave [Apple] alone". Gawker reported that Long Island University senior Chelsea Kate Isaacs, 22, emailed Jobs late last week with a complaint that Apple's public relations department was not responding to requests for comment about a project she was working on.

"I humbly ask why Apple is so wonderfully attentive to the needs of students ... and yet, ironically, the Media Relations Department fails to answer any of my questions which are, as I have repeatedly told them, essential to my academic performance," Isaacs said.

Jobs replied promptly to her email with this brief remark: "Our goals do not include helping you get a good grade. Sorry."

But it did not end there. Isaacs wasn't happy with the response, so she fired off another email.

"I never said that your goal should be to 'help me get a good grade'. Rather, I politely asked why your media relations team does not respond to emails, which, consequently, decreases my chances of getting a good grade.

"But, forget about my individual situation; what about common courtesy, in general – if you get a message from a client or customer, as an employee, isn't it your job to return the call? That's what I always thought. But I guess that's not one of your goals."

To which Jobs replied: "Nope. We have over 300 million users and we can't respond to their requests unless they involve a problem of some kind. Sorry."

Presumably fuming, Isaacs fired back another email to Jobs, saying she was indeed an Apple customer and that she did have a problem: she needed answers that only Apple's media team could provide.

"Now, can they kindly respond to my request (my polite and friendly voice can be heard in the first five or 10 messages in their inbox). Please, I am on deadline," she said.

The final reply from Jobs came back and it was a curt: "Please leave us alone."

"Under no circumstances should a person who runs a company speak to a customer that way," Isaacs told Gawker. "I'm just enraged and I want people to know this was done."

This website requested comment from Apple's Australian public relations spokeswoman, Fiona Martin, and Jobs himself about 1pm today. At the time of publication no response had arrived. US blog Tech Crunch remained sceptical about the exchange and questioned its authenticity, saying it appeared Isaacs was at the centre of "some shady internet fame seeking business", pointing to this online post.

Sourced from the Sydney Morning Herald Website


  1. Wow. It's really interesting (& annoying) when you say you're a student to a large organisation such as Apple and they completely ignore you. I understand that they are busy, but we are too!

  2. I agree. I found this article very interesting, especially coming from such a large corporation like Apple. Very bad PR!

  3. As a Uni student, I can totally sympathise with the poor girl. But at the same time, Apple is an international company and I'm not surprised they didn't respond. However, if Jobs has time to reply negatively then shouldn't he have time to reply positively too?

  4. Good point Jess! In the time it took him to reply with comments like "leave us along", I'm sure someone could have helped her out!