In Blog, lessons

Gorilla Glass maker Corning gets $200 million from Apple’s US manufacturing investment fund — TechCrunch

Apple Inc. received widespread coverage with its announcement of a $200 million investment in Corning Inc., a U.S.-based supplier of the glass coverings for the iPhones and iPads. Apple’s press release was the basis for articles by Bloomberg News, TechCrunch and the New York Times, among others.

Why did the media pick up the story when $200 million is such a small portion of the $10 billion Apple spent on research last year, and Corning has been an Apple supplier for more than a decade?

What works:
  • Strong News Hook: The press release focused on two trends that Americans and the media care about: U.S. corporations investing in jobs in this country and popular technology such as the iPhone. The release said that Apple’s investment will support capital equipment needs and glass processing at Corning’s Harrodsburg, Kentucky facility.
  • Big Numbers Make News: Apple backs up its jobs trend news hook by supplying key statistics. The release highlighted that its glass orders have created almost 1,000 American jobs and that the company supports 2 million jobs across all 50 states, including 450,000 jobs because of Apple’s investment with U.S. suppliers. Apple also said there will be more U.S. investments from its $1 billion fund.
  • Ready-to-Use Quotes and Images:  The release includes a well-phrased executive quote, which was included verbatim in a CNN Money article: “This partnership started 10 years ago with the very first iPhone, and today every customer that buys an iPhone or iPad anywhere in the world touches glass that was developed in America.” The press release also includes quality downloadable photos, making it easy for news outlets to add color and depth to their stories.
What doesn’t work:
  • Lacking in Details. The release could have provided more information about the investment fund, such as where else it may invest or the name of the person in charge of the fund. A sentence or two explaining why and when Apple began this fund may have spurred even more articles, and it would have given the investment some context.
  • Every Sentence Counts. The last sentence mentions Corning’s efforts at renewable energy. It comes out of thin air, is completely unrelated to this announcement and doesn’t belong in this release.
  • Gorilla Glass? Corning calls its product “Gorilla Glass” to evoke the feeling of strength and durability. Apple missed an opportunity to highlight this catchy marketing term by relegating it to the last paragraph.
What We’ve Learned: Change the Ordinary into Extraordinary

Apple turned some news about long-time supplier and a relatively small amount of money given Apple’s size into widespread media coverage. Apple realized it had to change the perception that it made its products only in China. This Apple press release provided a good example of working with its allies – in this case, U.S. suppliers – to highlight a partnership that bolstered its image and capitalized on the trendy topic of U.S. job growth.

Check out Apple’s press release here and let me know in the comments section below why you think it was so effective and what lessons you will likely apply in your next press release.

Alex Armitage is co-founder and CEO of Publiqly, whose Workflows help small and mid-sized companies write press releases that journalists and bloggers can’t ignore. Were you forwarded this post? Sign up to receive our weekly press release lessons directly in your inbox.

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