The tech firm giant, Apple Inc. got the surprise of its life when two of its partners, California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), a top-ranked educational society and Jana Partners expressed their wishes that Apple should be more proactive in safeguarding the security of children. This was contained in a letter sent to the company, after which the partners went public about their request.
Without delay, Apple replied the letter and vowed to grant the request by putting more functions and improving on the older functions that are meant for child safety. The firm, however, reminded them that since 2008, Apple has been consistently providing child safety functions.
These two clients of Apple with shares worth over $2 billion, CalSTRS and JANA Partners, wrote an open letter directed at the tech firm, ordering for stricter and protective features for the overall protection of children from risks associated with screen light exposure which could damage their eyes due to prolonged eye contact.
It was gathered that Apple was paid a brief official visit before this issue came up in public. However, trusted sources from the Apple camp said that the partners did not at any time hold a behind-closed-doors meeting with Apple management before making the letter an open affair.
Part of the content of the note said that Apple should look into the areas of investing more in their suggestions and setting up a panel of educational experts who will handle the research on new safety measures for kids.
In a message from Apple that served as a reply, its software has always been designed with parental guard features when it was launched in 2008, yet it reassured them that this particular function would be reinvented. Furthermore, Apple reminded its clients of its commitment to bringing out the best in kids by making strong products to inform, motivate, inspire and enliven them. At the same time, encouraging their parents to guide them properly on the use of the internet.
When asked the reason for picking on Apple among other tech firms, a representative from Jana said that regarding validity, Apple was the best choice with which to launch the campaign. He explained that this firm has a social responsibility to carry out and it was in the perfect place to target since kids and teenagers learn about gadgets from its products.
Facebook is also entangled in this matter. As a matter of fact, the social media provider was the main inspiration for this campaign pointed at Apple, not that Apple started any trouble with the investors.
It all began in December last year when Facebook bragged that its platform is therapeutic to curing lonesomeness and depression. To stamp this claim, Facebook published the results of research it carried out in collaboration with the University of Carnegie Mellon and some other investigations obtained from some institutions.
However, Facebook ignored the results of gargantuan research conducted by UC Diego and Yale universities some months back. On the contrary to Facebook’s claim, their outcome revealed that Facebook induces more depression in its users than relief.
This prompted Jana to rise up and decided to warn Apple not to make the same blunder of laying claims to what it doesn’t do. Experts must be invited to assist this course.
Interestingly, there is more to this PR approach than the blame on the Facebook self-acclaimed therapeutic feature.
Barry Rosenstein who established the hedge fund, Jana, is on the move to commission a new endowment financial support that will be socially-responsible inclined. According to Jana, only small number of business partners are needed for this project.
So this PR action on Apple was done to show his prowess to prospective partners. This will encourage them to entrust their investments into Jana since he could handle complex cooperate matters. Jana is synonymous with activism because he would purchase shares in firms where the effectiveness was low. Afterwards, he would compel them to merge, so that profits and managerial affairs could be shared with them. Jana didn’t start pointing at Apple in its PR method, companies like ConAgra, Walgreens and others have been under its prying eyes for years. It was also behind the sale of Whole Foods which was forced to put itself up for sale.
Lately, the company has started declining on the market with only $4.6 billion worth of managerial assets in December, lower than 50% of its reported 2015 $11 billion worth of assets.
The protection of the children has been taken care of, and Apple was impressive with its reassuring response which is an indicator that children are safe while using Apple products and the companies’ PR is effective.