I am not convinced that there are no 'orchestrated' moves on this. The targeted audience of 'planted' articles or advertisements is never known. To take the example given in the article, throwing up an 'Intel could buy TI's OMAP division' article can be the handiwork of any company (no offence meant to the author of the article). Infact Intel or TI may have NOTHING to do with the article, but say Nokia may do it to warn Qualcomm! It is very important but difficult to separate the 'real news' from the 'corporate spin', if any.
I do fully appreciate your thorough explanation on how Corporate America works. Seriously, I am aware of layers of approvers, in any given company, which pretty much kill any spontaneous conversation. But that's the thing. If that's their MO, their harping on "community" and "engagement" seem to me not so genuine...
Junko, I don't think it's beneath their dignity to talk to engineers in a public forum like this, I think it's more a combination of fear and old-fashioned organizational lines of responsibility that have not yet adapted to new forms of social media and online dialog.
I think we see a great deal of engineer-to-engineer communication happening here, even sometimes between customers and vendors, but there is a lot less participation from upper management, and I think that is to be expected.
There are those situations when a prompt response could and should be expected from someone with the authority to answer on behalf of his company -- like a story about the rumored sale of a business unit from one major semiconductor company to another. "No comment" is sometimes an ominous response, one that can lend credibility to the rumor...and rumors sometimes can affect stock prices.
What I find interesting is the difference in perception of time between the world of journalism, where breaking stories must be filed quickly, and the world of corporate America, where decisions are made thoughtfully, carefully, through a chain of command, and where external communications may involve an outside PR firm, an internal PR department, and who knows how many levels of management and how many meetings.
You wonder why it took TI 23 hours to correct the record about this rumor, and I wonder how they were able to respond so quickly!
Obviously, creating a "rapid-fire response team" might be a way to deal with today's 24-hour media environment -- especially if you are in politics.
But what I am hoping for is not necessarilly a ready-made special task force team -- created at a corporation -- to do this, but an individual executive to have a courage to voice his opinion or viewpoint.
After all, if you really want to communicate, it has to come from a person with real thoughts and opinions.
Great point Junko. I think the industry is just slow to adopt the newer trend. If chip companies were more like other consumer level companies, they would anoint their engineers as people who could respond. And to be fair, there's just such a program at TI starting now with the social media group "Deputizing" engineers. As for this particular situation, if I were a member of TI, I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole (as one of the mentioned "deputies"). However, having these kind of people around and watching out for conversations such as the OMAP theory could quickly get it into the hands of someone with an official capacity to respond (such as the PR firm eventually did). Another problem is the disconnect between an engineering discussion and the official word of someone from a PR firm. While I'm sure a PR person would be capable of giving an official statement, I've yet to know many PR folks who talk shop regularly on EE Times.
Or hey, maybe someone was just on summer vacation. You never know...