How Apple’s “Crisis Management” Response Has Changed

by Christopher Paul on March 22, 2012

Regardless of what you think about Consumer Reports’ salacious article on the heat generated by Apple’s new iPad, you have to take note of how quickly Apple responded to the supposed controversy. It’s far different than what happened a few years ago.

If you recall, CR published a scathing article on the iPhone 4 when it was launched which soon became “Antennagate” and sparked lawsuits, rebates on cases, and free bumpers for customers; later, Apple redesigned the antenna for the Verizon iPhone and iPhone 4S. Apple took flak (justified) for not responding in a reasonable time. By the time they did respond, people were upset and the chorus of resentment was certainly pretty loud. In the end, the issue was a non-issue. Apple went on to sell millions of iPhones and nobody cared about how squeezing the antenna caused signal loss.

But this time, Apple responded quickly. They either learned their PR lesson from the last time or you can chalk it up to Tim Cook and the new management in place since Steve Jobs passed away. But whatever the reason, Apple certainly took another non-issue – and one that’s arguably less of an issue than the antenna story – and killed it before damage could spread. Apple’s quick response also could have helped turn the tide against Consumer Reports because, now, CR is on the defensive and justifying it’s handling of the situation.

CR has to do it’s own crisis management, now. If they’re smart, they’ll respond once, drop it, and let it all blow over in a week. They should also refrain from picking on minor details for future gadget reviews – especially when it could appear as if they’re biased against a brand.

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