The BBC reports on Apple’s plans to make “greener” products. Steve Jobs statement is a direct response to the almost perfectly pitched and pithily web 2.0 Greenmyapple campaign from Greenpeace (which also won the activism Webby on Tuesday). I wrote earlier this year about how it uses the weight of the brand to intensify the pressure.
What is interesting about this is also how it demonstrates lessons for combining online campaigning with face to face work. Greenmyapple harnessed the passion and creativity of apple customers to add pressure whilst also talking directly to the company. And they made the campaign personal both online and offline, (adding pressure to a particularly pertinent member of the Apple Board, Al Gore). Again the response was personal, directly from the man at the top. As campaign insider Brian Fitzgerald puts it
There aren’t many campaigns where the CEO of your target steps out and responds directly to your demands….This has been a tremendous confirmation of the power of consumer campaigning.
Reaction has been good for Apple, Macnn may have blunty said Apple Surrendered but approves of what’s happening, ecorazzi has it as one small step but a good one. But there has been grumbling about Greenpeace. Over at Ecogeek some comments suggest this is more to do with Apple’s competitors going green than the campaign, Slashdot grumpily dismissed the quality of the Greenpeace campaign and this translates the subtext of the Steve Jobs letter.
All that aside I’m impressed, and echo Green Business which writes realistically about the efforts companies will make to protect their brand by aligning with public opinion. And if you check the tags below you’ll see just how many individual and business brands were under pressure.
Good campaigning is about sensing these pressures and then applying your own – it’s also about being realistic and gracious in (half) “victory”. Congratulations Greenpeace.