I’m always amazed that companies can’t learn one of the basic lessons of public relations: If you try to hide bad news, you’re just going to make things worse. As soon as people begin to pick up on the deception, they will just assume the worst case scenario. And if/when you do fully disclose, people won’t believe all the bad news is out there.
Take Steve Jobs and Apple Inc., for instance.
Over the last few weeks, there has been a long line of half truths released. First it was that Jobs’ weight loss was due to a nutritional problem. Then it was revealed that things were actually worse than that, and that Jobs was taking a six month medical leave. Most recently, there are rumors that Jobs is looking into getting a liver transplant.
And the hits keep coming.
On January 5, 2009, the morning of the nutritional announcement, AAPL was trading at $93.21. It closed today at $78.20, a drop of 16.1% over twelve trading days.
Do you think there’s anyone left who doesn’t think Jobs’ cancer has recurred and that more bad news is right around the corner?
If the rumors about needing a liver transplant are correct, several things may be going on, including:
- Pancreatic cancer metastasis to the liver
- Cirrhosis caused by alcohol
- Viral hepatitis (Hep A, B, C, etc.)
- Biliary disease/obstruction
- Multi-organ failure
If his cancer has recurred, he is unlikely to be a candidate for a liver transplant.