Media Guidelines

Source: Memo from Barbara Krause, 9 April 1985.
Location: M1007, Apple Computer Inc. Papers, Series 9, Box 1, Folder 2.

Date: April 9, 1985
To: Distribution
From: Corporate Press Relations
Subject: Media Guidelines

Apple is probably more accessible to the news media than any other personal computer company. Because of this, many of you may find yourselves being asked to participate in an interview. However, it can be embarrassing and unnerving to find yourself quoted in print and find that what you read doesn't always correspond to what you said, what you meant to say, or what you think you said (or didn't say). Here are some guidelines that may help.


1. There is no such thing as "off the record." Reporters can easily disarm you by allowing you to think the "interview" is over and that you are now just holding a conversation. Be careful. Anything you say can and may be used.

2. If the subject you are discussing is sensitive or confusing, repeat your message in a slightly different way to make sure the reporter understands. This will lessen your chances of having the information misconstrued.

3. Stick to the subject of the interview and don't volunteer additional information unless it seems important to the story the reporter is working on at that time. Any additional information you volunteer could turn up in a future story and may appear out of context.

4. Reporters may ask you all sorts of questions on a variety of subjects. Don't feel obligated to answer all the reporter's questions. If you get questions regarding areas with which you are unfamiliar or if you are not the proper spokesperson, tell the reporter and refer him/her back to the Public Relations staff and we'll make sure the question is get answered.

5.Do not let a reporter pressure you into making comments before you clear the interview through public relations. It doesn't matter if they tell you they're on a deadline and can't wait. Simply tell the reporter that you will be happy to comment after the interview is cleared through Public Relations. Make it a matter of policy and then the reporter can't misconstrue your silence as a "no comment" from Apple.

6. Reporters will often rephrase a question several times to get the response or quote they want. Listen carefully if a reporter should take your response and say "in other words you think that..." You don't want to let them put words in your mouth. This is a good opportunity to clarify your points.

We'd like to remind you once again that any media call is should first be referred to Apple's public relations staff. Doing so gives us the opportunity to evaluate the story and brief you on the story angle, the particular bias of the reporter, and the questions you are likely to be asked.

Document created on 6 June 2000;