Executive Rewind: A Financial Crisis–Vignette #3

How do you explain to investors that your huge stock price declines added up to a $55 Billion hit on your books?

Well, when your market value is in the hundreds of billions, you might say it’s all relative.

However, the recent precipitous declines in Apple’s stock price, due to a disappointing projection for the first quarter, helped lead an overall steep decline in the Dow Jones and other averages.

This news, of course, received a tsunami of media attention, and demanded a response from this massive tech company with so much impact on the US investment market.

Apple CEO Tim Cook had to approach that challenge with a definite plan.

In a series of three brief vignettes, we’ve been detailing and evaluating his performance.

We define the three primary steps Cook appears to have taken preparing for an extended CNBC interview: first, identifying his target audiences, then the messages for each audience, and, his end game, or the result he needs to accomplish. We call this his ROI or Return on the Interview. And that is to get the focus on a bright future for Apple and growing its business.

In this, our the third of three vignettes The Media Trainers®, LLC, evaluates Tim Cook’s messaging to his customers and prospects.

Vignette #3—Reassuring Apple’s Customers and Prospects

As you know, Apple has a huge worldwide customer base. Many have been customers for years, and most probably have more interest in the latest gadgets than the stock price. They also want good services.

One category of services, things like apps, music and videos, are a major source of Apple’s revenue. And Cook says it’s growing:

An interesting little teaser for customers to anticipate: new things coming both in services and products.

Also, Cook says, Apple has been responding to the decline in subsidies cellular carriers offer, and now he needs to do a better job of marketing that.

Then there’s Apple’s free service.

Our take on Tim Cook in this interview:

CNBC provided access to his three most important audiences: analysts, investors and customers.

He had clear messages for each, what went wrong, what’s doing well, and his outlook.

Cook appears to have gone into the interview with a clear end goal: admit mistakes, then project a positive picture of the business ahead.

His body language served him well, emphasizing his major points and projecting a friendly, open personality.

These three elements are basic to The Media Trainers® program. You first have to identify who you’re talking to (audiences). Next, you need to prepare specific, succinct and persuasive messages for each audience. And then, carefully consider your end goal. Why do the interview? What are you hoping to accomplish (your ROI, Return on the Interview)?

A final note: one interview is just the start. Your approach both via news stories and your own use of social media must embrace an important marketing tactic. Messages need to be repeated often and consistently in order to penetrate. Just like advertising, frequency is critical to getting through to your target audiences.

Always keep in mind that in today’s world of instant global communication,
“Anyone who talks about you…or your business…is media!”
The Media Trainers®, LLC

Request a FREE Consultation