• Jennifer Hamad

Katie Cotton: A PR “Guru” at Apple

How a Public Relations Professional Made a Unique Impact in the world of PR

By: Jennifer Hamad

Logo for Apple
Apple Logo

In this world, I believe it is important to maintain a good relationship with everyone. This why I'm a public relations professional, since we are often the key individuals to go to in order to get that job done. After realizing that I do not really know any PR professionals, I decided to do a little bit of research to see who stood out the most. While many of them seemed to have the same job and do the same thing, there was one who caught my eye and stood out the most: Katie Cotton. A woman of confidence, a woman of empowerment and a woman who is not afraid to say no. She mastered these things (and many more) as a PR professional during her years at Apple and had the ability to maintain a strong appearance and positive relationship with the public. Cotton was admired by many other PR professionals and was even quite intimidating as for how excellent her job performance was.

The Start

Cotton was introduced to Steve Jobs while she was working at a PR agency called KillerApp Communications. During her time at the agency there was one account named NEXT that she was not assigned to, but she still picked up the contacts from it. Being impressed by her work, Jobs decided to offer her a spot at Apple so she could join the team and move the company up. This is where her legacy began, and people started to notice her sharp way of handling the job. Cotton was known for being very serious with her job and did not hesitate to say no in order to help the company. When starting with Apple, she had a different way of incorporating her PR ideas into the world that other PR professionals were not used to. She offered a distinct perspective and had the ability to ensure Apple was receiving the coverage that they wanted for the brand. Her techniques and uniqueness led to saving the company in its early days.

A Lesson to Teach

One can learn a lot of important lessons from watching Cotton work in PR for Apple. Out of all the things that could possibly be learned from her, there are three that stand out the most:

  1. Less Is More

  2. What’s In It For You?

  3. Crisis Management

Practicing these three lessons constantly is what led her to stand out from all the other PR professionals. Not only was she incorporating these three things in her job, but she did so in a way that caused others to be intimidated by her. Apple gets a lot of coverage in the media and because of that, Cotton strictly incorporated these things so that Apple would not lose their customers and maintained a positive relationship with the company.

Maintain Loyalty

Cotton in a Discussion with Steve Jobs
Cotton in a Discussion with Steve Jobs

Cotton stayed with Apple as their VP of Press Relations for 18 years before deciding to step down and retire. With her hard work and loyalty to the company, she always took great care of Apple and protected the company much like Steve Jobs did. Her passion for her career allowed for such a great success with the company and led to many admiring her for her work. Her commitment to Apple proved how loyal she was and willing to do her best to keep a positive image for a company she had no regrets working for. Katie Cotton is an inspiration for me and anyone looking to go into the world of public relations because of her different approach and unique perspective on PR.

About the Author

Hello, my name is Jennifer Hamad and I am a public relations professional in Frisco, Texas. I am studying journalism with a concentration in PR and a minor in communications at the University of North Texas and will graduate with a bachelor's degree in May 2022.