Daily Archives: August 31, 2010

Pro PR Tip #154: Why 2010 will be like 1984

Just got this doubleplusgood announcement from Apple regarding the company’s press conference tomorrow (September 1):

Apple® will broadcast its September 1 event online using Apple’s industry-leading HTTP Live Streaming, which is based on open standards. Viewing requires either a Mac® running Safari® on Mac OS® X version 10.6 Snow Leopard®, an iPhone® or iPod touch® running iOS 3.0 or higher, or an iPad™. The live broadcast will begin at 10:00 a.m. PDT on September 1, 2010 at www.apple.com.

Emphasis mine. Yep, that’s “open” in Apple’s world: It only applies to Apple hardware. Even Safari on a Windows computer doesn’t qualify.

As a PR stunt, it is brilliant. If nothing else it’ll give people a reason to run Safari on their Macs tomorrow. (I haven’t used the app myself in months.)  And it’s a great demo for HTML 5.

But as worded, it reads Orwellian. This is shaping up to be a great case study in how companies lose the trust of the people who cover them. You get a free pass on a certain amount of doublespeak. Apple’s running way beyond that. It’s not an example worth emulating.

(By the way, I’ll be covering the Apple announcement on CNET Live, starting at 9:45 a.m. Pacific time.)

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