“Who’s going to succeed Katie Cotton as VP of worldwide corporate communications at Apple?” John Paczkowski reports for Re/code. “That’s one of the more interesting questions at the company these days following Cotton’s retirement last month after nearly two decades spent shaping its communications strategy.”
“Though there are at least two well-qualified internal candidates for the job — comms veterans Steve Dowling and Nat Kerris — Apple is also looking outside the company for Cotton’s replacement,” Paczkowski reports. “Sources in position to know tell Code/red that CEO Tim Cook is overseeing the search, aiming to find some high-profile external candidates for consideration. And he’s paying particular attention to those he believes could put a friendlier, more approachable face on Apple’s public relations efforts.”
“Hardly surprising, as VP of comms is a position that reports directly to Cook, and he obviously wants to put the best person he possibly can into it,” Paczkowski reports. “But interesting nonetheless, as passing over a pair of veterans groomed under company co-founder Steve Jobs for an outsider could herald a big shift in Apple’s PR strategy and its comms team.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: We hereby nominate the term “communications strategy” as applied to anything executed by Katie Cotton for Oxymoron of the Decade. Hideously overusing the word “stunning” while repeatedly failing to communicate during the most critical times until belatedly forced to do so was hardly a “strategy.”
Type-by-numbers press releases and the occasional desperate damage control at figurative gunpoint is not a corporate communications strategy. Inability to learn from past mistakes is also not a winning talent in any field. Steve Ballmer had more of a strategy than Apple’s mute “PR department” under Katie Cotton (and he liked it, he liked it a lot; as did we, too – loved it, in fact).
It’s not that Apple’s corporate communication was all bad, it’s just that none of it was very good nor was it extant in a timely fashion. One can exude an air of mystery via silence and still execute competent crisis management when it’s needed. The two are not mutually exclusive. Controlling the message means not letting it spin out of control, which happened too often under Cotton.
Again, Katie, stunningly good luck in your retirement! We can’t wait to see if Apple stuns us by finally hiring a real corporate communications professional.
Apple’s PR head Katie Cotton to retire – May 7, 2014