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.
As we surmised, Steve Jobs' health was more complex than previously disclosed. He announced this week that he is taking a six month medical leave. Jobs said:
Unfortunately, the curiosity over my personal health continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone else at Apple as well. In addition, during the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought.
As many of you know, I have been losing weight throughout 2008. The reason has been a mystery to me and my doctors. A few weeks ago, I decided that getting to the root cause of this and reversing it needed to become my #1 priority. Fortunately, after further testing, my doctors think they have found the cause—a hormone imbalance that has been “robbing” me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy. Sophisticated blood tests have confirmed this diagnosis.