Steve Jobs to journalism student - "Please leave us alone"

Summary:Almost everyone involved in tech journalism who has had to deal with Apple has experienced the Apple PR black hole. But very few get a personal "Please leave us alone" from the man himself, Steve Jobs.

Almost everyone involved in tech journalism who has had to deal with Apple has experienced the Apple PR black hole. It's annoying, it's frustrating, and in an age where companies strive for more engagement, it's very unusual. But very few get a personal "Please leave us alone" from the man himself, Steve Jobs.

The Guardian has a story about Chelsea Isaacs, a student doing a journalism degree at Long Island University, got tired of the wall of silence from Apple PR channels and decided to approach the man himself. The exchange is detailed below:

From: Chelsea Isaacs

To: Steve Jobs

Subject: Re: Mr. Jobs - Student Journalist Concerned about Apple's MediaRelations Dept.

Dear Mr. Jobs,"

As a college student, I can honestly say that Apple has treated me very well; my iPod is basically the lifeline that gets me through the day, and thanks to Apple's Final Cut Pro, I aced last semester's video editing project. I was planning to buy a new Apple computer to add to my list of Apple favorites. Because I have had such good experiences as a college student using Apple products, I was incredibly surprised to find Apple's Media Relations Department to be absolutely unresponsive to my questions, which (as I had repeatedly told them in voicemail after voicemail) are vital to my academic grade as a student journalist.

For my journalism course, I am writing an article about the implementation of an iPad program at my school, the CW Post Campus of Long Island University.

The completion of this article is crucial to my grade in the class, and it may potentially get published in our university's newspaper. I had 3 quick questions regarding iPads, and wanted to obtain answers from the most credible source: Apple's Media Relations Department. I have called countless times throughout the week, leaving short, but detailed, messages which included my contact information and the date of my deadline. Today, I left my 6th message, which stressed the increasingly more urgent nature of the situation. It is now the end of the business day, and I have not received a call back. My deadline is tomorrow.

Mr. Jobs, I humbly ask why Apple is so wonderfully attentive to the needs of students, whether it be with the latest, greatest invention or the company's helpful customer service line, and yet, ironically, the Media Relations Department fails to answer any of my questions which are, as I have repeatedly told them, essential to my academic performance.

For colleges nationwide, Apple is at the forefront of improving the way we function in the academic environment, increasing the efficiency of conducting academic research, as well as sharing and communicating with our college communities. With such an emphasis on advancing our education system, why, then, has Apple's Media Relations team ignored my needs as a student journalist who is just trying to get a good grade?

In addition to the hypocrisy of ignoring student needs when they represent a company that does so much for our schools, the Media Relations reps are apparently, also failing to responsibly handle the inquiries of professional journalists on deadlines. Unfortunately, for a journalist in the professional world, lacking the answers they need on deadline day won't just cost them a grade; it could cost them their job.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Chelsea Kate Isaacs, Senior, CW Post - Long Island University

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

---

From: Steve Jobs

To: Chelsea Isaacs

Subject: Re: Mr. Jobs - Student Journalist Concerned about Apple's Media Relations Dept.

Our goals do not include helping you get a good grade. Sorry.

Sent from my iPhone

---

From: Chelsea Isaacs

To: Steve Jobs

Subject: Re: Mr. Jobs - Student Journalist Concerned about Apple's Media Relations Dept.

Thank you for your reply. I never said that your goal should be to "help me get a good grade." Rather, I politely asked why your media relations team does not respond to emails, which consequently, decreases my chances of getting a good grade. But, forget about my individual situation; what about common courtesy, in general --- if you get a message from a client or customer, as an employee, isn't it your job to return the call? That's what I always thought. But I guess that's not one of your goals. Yes, you do have a creative approach, indeed.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

---

From: Steve Jobs

To: Chelsea Isaacs

Subject: Re: Mr. Jobs - Student Journalist Concerned about Apple's Media Relations Dept.

Nope. We have over 300 million users and we can't respond to their requests unless they involve a problem of some kind. Sorry.

Sent from my iPhone

---

From: Chelsea Isaacs

To: Steve Jobs

Subject: Re: Mr. Jobs - Student Journalist Concerned about Apple's Media Relations Dept.

You're absolutely right, and I do meet your criteria for being a customer who deserves a response:

1. I AM one of your 300 million users.

2. I DO have a problem; I need answers that only Apple Media Relations can answer.

Now, can they kindly respond to my request (my polite and friendly voice can be heard in the first 5 or 10 messages in their inbox). Please, I am on deadline.

I appreciate your help.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

---

From: Steve Jobs

To: Chelsea Isaacs

Subject: Re: Mr. Jobs - Student Journalist Concerned about Apple's MediaRelations Dept.

Please leave us alone.

Sent from my iPhone

Please, let that last response should be immortalised in a new Steve Jobs/Apple meme ...

Note: It's woth noting I've never had a personal email from Steve Jobs either, but that now seems like a good thing! Who knows what he might tell me to do ...

Seriously though, that's uncool. Sure, no one is owed a reply or help. There are plenty of reasons why requests for information or help are ignored and the person replying might not be Steve Jobs himself (although if it isn't, allowing a third-party to pretent is dangerous. But that said, not replying is very different to entering into a conversation about why no one is replying. That seems awfully arrogant, counter-productive and just plain rude.

Topics: Apple, Collaboration, Hardware, Mobility, Telcos

About

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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