This Is Steve, Thank You for Calling Apple Tech Support

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The late Steve Jobs has left behind many lessons on how to drive brand success, including this one: direct-to-consumer communication from a CEO. CNN tech writer Mark Milian has reported on numerous accounts of Jobs’ fielding customer service calls and e-mails. Jobs’ direct involvement in customer relations is a worthy case study for senior managers who expect community engagement from their teams but may be reluctant themselves to wade into it.

Milian reports: "When a customer asked Jobs via e-mail in 2008 why BlackBerry owners could tether their phones to their computers for wireless Internet access but the same could not be done with an iPhone, Jobs wrote, 'We agree, and are discussing it with ATT.' The feature eventually came."

It’s important to note that some of Jobs’ remarks to customers were brusque, but that became part of his legend. 

PR practitioners would do well to closely study Jobs' communications with his customers and coach their own leaders and clients on how and when to engage directly with their audiences.






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