Former Apple Marketing Insider Sheds Light on Apple's 'Controlled Leaks'

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Former Apple Senior Marketing Manager John Martellaro today penned an interesting piece describing the company's strategy for issuing controlled leaks, pointing to Monday's Wall Street Journal article on Apple's tablet device as a likely instance of such an information release.

Martellaro notes that Apple engages in the practice of controlled leaks for a number of reasons, including motivational, market research, competitive, and hype-building concerns. Controlled leaks, which are always conducted in person or over the phone in order to leave no paper trail, also serve as a prime way for Apple to disseminate information while still appearing to maintain its veil of secrecy about unreleased products.
I know, because when I was a Senior Marketing Manager at Apple, I was instructed to do some controlled leaks.

The way it works is that a senior exec will come in and say, "We need to release this specific information. John, do you have a trusted friend at a major outlet? If so, call him/her and have a conversation. Idly mention this information and suggest that if it were published, that would be nice. No e-mails!"
Also noted is that fact that the Wall Street Journal report was credited to two authors, Yukari Kane and Geoffrey Fowler, which introduces some ambiguity into who is responsible for the report and provides a convenient means of plausible deniability. Walt Mossberg, the Wall Street Journal's highest-profile technology writer, was also not involved in the story in order to preserve his leadership status and clean image rather than subjecting his reputation to the risks of such strategies.

Article Link: Former Apple Marketing Insider Sheds Light on Apple's 'Controlled Leaks'
 

BTW

macrumors 6502
Mar 4, 2007
438
0
It was obvious to probably everyone that they were employing this marketing technique. How else could these reports be so accurate?
 

MacVixen

macrumors 6502
Jan 26, 2009
385
0
Santa Cruz, CA
I could use a controlled leak on Arrandale MacBook Pros right about now...
+1. Got my money ready to go, just waiting for an announcement.


As to the story, I agree with others. No surprise here. Apple, like all other businesses, could use some free press now and then to pump up the masses.
 

Robert M.

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2010
761
163
Well this is common sense... We only know what Apple wants us to know! Like someone said before hopefully the $1000 price is them just "testing us"

Maybe they'll come out at the end and say, oh yeah it's $799!! Probably not... :rolleyes:
 

iOrlando

macrumors 68000
Jul 20, 2008
1,811
1
i just love the part about apple not wanting an empty seat in one of their events. they care about the littlest, stupidest, things in the world.
 

talkingfuture

macrumors 65816
Dec 4, 2008
1,216
0
The back of beyond.
To be honest that how I always suspected the Apple 'rumour' mill worked. It makes a lot of sense for them to try to keep it going as it is part of the whole publicity frenzy that helps launch Apple products to a wider audience than most.
 

VideoShooter

macrumors regular
Dec 11, 2004
166
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20 or 21 days still to go and they've already stirred the major media into a frenzy. Impressive as always.

I just hope the price point isn't a grand.

Things I'd like to see...

- Ways to connect to a keyboard/external monitor/mouse
- Two display modes... 1. E ink for books/newspapers 2. standard for web/video
 

ct2k7

macrumors 603
Aug 29, 2008
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London
I really wouldn't like to e put in such situation - I would need to be socially inept to excuse this.
 

*LTD*

macrumors G4
Feb 5, 2009
10,703
1
Canada
i just love the part about apple not wanting an empty seat in one of their events. they care about the littlest, stupidest, things in the world.
Which is why they're so successful. It's all about the little things, the details. It's not just applied to media events but to their products. It's what separates them from the rest of the pack. Perfectionism (with respect to the User Experience especially) might not be an easy road, but it will always put you in a much better position to deliver great things.
 

DipDog3

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2002
1,182
675
The way it works is that a senior exec will come in and say, "We need to release this specific information. John, do you have a trusted friend at a major outlet? If so, call him/her and have a conversation. Idly mention this information and suggest that if it were published, that would be nice. No e-mails!"
Wow, so people know they are being used but don't care?
 

MacPhilosopher

macrumors 6502
Jul 26, 2005
310
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Phoenix
They make few mistakes...

I guess it is time to mention that with the huge amount of hype around a possible tablet, Apple has not made a denial. I mentioned in another thread that if they do not have a tablet coming out, they may want to get one started. I would think that given no tablet to release, they would be in a panic about their late January special event being nothing but a disappointment in the shadow of all these rumors. If that were the case, this is the time to quash the rumor. I see none of that happening.
 

mlp mlp

macrumors newbie
Dec 2, 2009
2
0
what do you think this blog is? i bet macrumors is toward the top of the list for these controlled leak phone calls and wouldn't be surprised if its backed by apple as a veiled marketing device.

the past few massive releases have been proceeded by a calculated drop of info, getting more and more specific until right before the keynote where they basically announce what's coming out before it does.

so to this post, doye!

edit: also, you figure apple drops hints across major players in publishing to generate content for this new device. without people making anything to go on it, the device is useless. of course they're going to include these boards so "your" favorite magazine is available on the itunes newsstand as soon as the device is in everyone's hands. that means immediate commissions and a subsequent boom in supported content.
 

ShiftyPig

macrumors 6502a
Aug 24, 2008
567
0
AU
I think the fact that they can keep the gates as secure as they do is more interesting than that they call people to "leak" information. Writers are always desperate for a story.
 

VideoShooter

macrumors regular
Dec 11, 2004
166
0
I guess it is time to mention that with the huge amount of hype around a possible tablet, Apple has not made a denial. I mentioned in another thread that if they do not have a tablet coming out, they may want to get one started. I would think that given no tablet to release, they would be in a panic about their late January special event being nothing but a disappointment in the shadow of all these rumors. If that were the case, this is the time to quash the rumor. I see none of that happening.
Same thing I was thinking.
 
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