It will be fascinating to see how Tim Cook responds to this first crisis since taking the CEO reins at Apple.
I don’t think today’s expose in the New York Times, “In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad,” will go gently in the night.
Unlike the spike of hoopla around Foxconn (supporting role in this story) the U.S. media will keep the scent of a trail that leads to the iconic Apple.
The bigger question involves the American public. Will they care enough to make noise?
I don’t think bad press will spook Cook.
But if we start seeing demonstrators adding a new design element to the exteriors of Apple stores, I suspect that would get Mr. Cook’s attention.
Reading the 5000-word piece, I was reminded of what Jill Abramson, executive editor of the New York Times, said on Charlie Rose last year when asked to define “fit to print.”
Fit to print is, is it legitimately newsworthy and also is it interesting. Sometimes I’ll pick a front-page story just because I think people will find it interesting …
I’m guessing Abramson didn’t agonize whether the Apple story rated real estate on the front page. Classic storytelling underpins the piece.
A couple final points on the business of storytelling—
For those of us who want the New York Times to become a profitable enterprise, it’s reassuring to know the marketing people and editorial talk to each other. To run the story right after Apple announced earnings – they assumed the company would continue to print money; the record profits of $13.1 billion were a delicious bonus – ensured Michael-Moore-grade contrast.
It’s also worth noting that the New York Times collaborated with the China paper Caixin so the story was published in Chinese as well. Furthermore, a cross section of the posted comments from Chinese readers were translated into English and run in The New York Times.
Pretty darn interesting.
Note: 9to5Mac reported that Tim Cook sent out a company-wide email to counter the story. It makes sense that he would immediately swing into action on the internal communications front.