RIM’s media blitz shouldn’t have been needed in the first place

It's Constructive Criticism... We Still Heart You RIM And Want You To Be The Best You Can Be!
By Chris Umiastowski on 4 Jul 2012 04:13 pm
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Yesterday RIM went on a bit of a media blitz - at least in Canada. CEO Thorsten Heins published an op-ed in the Globe and Mail (reposted here). He also did a radio interview with CBC, as did Andrew McLeod, RIM's Managing Director of Canada.

Rick Costanzo, RIM's executive VP of global sales, was also busy giving interviews to the media. You can catch Kevin's 15-minute interview with him if you haven't heard it already.

At least they tried ...

I give RIM credit for putting itself out there. I can't recall the last time a struggling company's CEO wrote an article about the firm's position in a national newspaper.

Unfortunately, that's about where I run out of really nice things to say. I think yesterday's media outreach was not well enough planned out, and the executives who gave interviews did not prepare well enough.

From good to bad

In Orlando this past May, for BlackBerry World, Thorsten Heins did a great job. He presented clearly at the keynote and then followed up with a hit presentation to the media the next day. His clarity and ease in answering questions (mostly pre-emptively) was beautiful.

Then came the Q1 conference call last week. We knew the numbers would be bad. But I wasn't expecting the communications disaster we witnessed. In my opinion, Thorsten's prepared remarks were poorly written. And then, during the Q&A session, the team came across less-than-prepared to answer some of what should have been highly anticipated questions.

In particular, the discussion around the delay of BlackBerry 10 lacked the kind of clear messaging that Thorsten had done so beautifully in Orlando.

It's time to stop trying and start doing

Earlier on I used the sub headline "at least they tried". Many years ago I learned that try implies failure. Executives should cut the word "try" from their vocabulary, and never use the word in interviews or prepared remarks. When we "try" we give ourselves an excuse to fail and then say, "Well, at least I tried".

RIM is trying to communicate. But they need to stop trying and get expert at delivering a strong message. To do this requires deep knowledge of the types of questions that will be thrown at them, and to rehearse the living hell out of the answers. In any 10 minute interview if you are asked two questions that you don't have a well-rehearsed answer for, you've not done a good enough preparation job.

RIM executives are certainly busy. But if they are too busy to adequately prepare for a media blitz, they should not be doing one. Period.

What did RIM really want to say anyway?

What RIM really wanted to get across yesterday is the significance of the business transformation they're going through. They want us to understand that they started almost two years ago to rebuild a completely new platform. It's more than just a new OS for a phone. It's an entirely new platform that RIM expects to take it through the next decade of mobile computing.

They can't afford to simply play catchup to the current market demand for iOS and Android devices. They need a platform that goes beyond it. Building this takes time, and they aren't going to skimp on quality to rush it out the door.

That was the most important part of what RIM wanted to say. But the message got too diluted by weaker (even defensive) comments.

RIM needs to communicate expertly right now

I'm not saying that the quality of communication with investors and the media is an indicator for the quality of upcoming products. It isn't. RIM could completely blow press interviews and still deliver a great new platform. But it's a lot easier to rally the troops if the media isn't bashing you. That's why companies in tough competitive positions (and losing money) need to be even stronger at communicating compared to perceived leaders.

I'd like to hear from the CrackBerry community. What parts of the RIM message did you like yesterday? Which parts came across as defensive or irrational?

I'll get the discussion going with a few specific thoughts:

  • I felt like RIM was biting the hand that feeds them by acknowledging the US-centric media industry, and reaching out to the media, yet talking down the relevance of the US market (being only 10% of the global market).
  • RIM attempts to suggest that everything is OK outside of the US market since its subscriber base is growing. But this obviously isn't a good enough result considering the company is losing money despite this international success
  • There was far too much discussion of how BlackBerry 7 still has legs to deliver more growth. Save this for an investor day or industry analyst session. Don't talk to North American media about BB7. Save it for Asia, LatAm, and other markets where you expect its life to be longest.
  • Don't throw in vague descriptions about what makes BB10 unique. It seems to me RIM tried to explain how BB10 is more complex because it has built-in hooks for automotive and OEM markets. But that's all they said. They left a technology-focused comment hang there in thin air without any adequate explanation to make it believable. I'm sure there is a lot of truth to what they said, but how is any journalist at CBC or the average consumer going to get excited about this?
I have high expectations for BlackBerry 10. And I have equally high expectations for the executive team at RIM to become expert communicators. The RIM of the last decade has never been particularly good at communicating. In fact, one reliable source actually told me that Jim Balsillie never even used to read through his prepared script for quarterly conference calls ahead of time. The first time he would read them would be live on the call.

The time is now for RIM's executive team to become masterful presenters. They need strong, congruent presentations to win them as many points as possible with the public and the media.

Next week RIM holds its Annual General Meeting (AGM) of shareholders in Waterloo. They'll be streaming the event live, and the media will be paying attention, as will shareholders.

Thorsten - it's time to start rehearsing. It's time to set an amazing example for the rest of your executive team. If RIM is going to have laser-like focus, show us through your communication. We'll still be here cheering for the home team.

74 comments

BBA Brian

jesus christ I didn't think it was bad at all what they did yesterday

ajst222

I thought the same. I thought it was pretty good. The fact that they are addressing these issues is key and I thought they did well....guess I'm wrong?

BBA Brian

apparently I am as well.....

martinjdub

Who was the message intended for? It was for joe public in Canada and secondly the US. Not for analysts, investors or the crackberry nation..m

On that basis, I felt Thor and team did a great job!

Kevin Michaluk

I thought Rick was solid to talk to and I liked the letter Heins wrote too.

My takeaway from this is that it's very, very hard to please everybody. As much as Umi is pointing out here that RIM has to make sure RIM and Heins is doing everything in their power to deliver an awesome and clear message, I can't help but think it's going to take a LOT of repetition before listeners all start taking away the same message.

At this point in time, every individual has "perception" about BlackBerry and the state of RIM, whether it's good or bad. If you have a "bad" perception, it's very easy to pick apart every word spoken or written and bend it to your perception. And I think that's sort of what Chris is saying here. You have to be so concise and clear with every message that you deliver that you leave the listener no room to miscontrue it or bend it to their own perception at all. You have to forcefully change their perception. 

I think that explains the mixed reactions too. Reading through the comments yesterday on CrackBerry and elsewhere, I saw a mix of people loving it and people ripping at it. The only way to stop the ripping is to leave nothing available to grab a hold of and tear at.

clvrbas

I think nobody trust RIM anymore. It can be broken down mathematically.

Trust = relationship x credibility / risk.

right now I see they have a low relationship and low credibility and the risk is high.

Ashton Wilcox

I think the point here is that the Heins editorial and media blitz would not have been needed if they had been better prepared for the earnings call last week.

Overall I thought yesterday was OK. The Heins letter was well written. I liked reading the Crackberry interview. Good on RIM for talking to the Crackberry community too.

I Get what Chris U is saying though. He's fair on his points. They tried. It may have been a A+ effort, but it was a B delivery, and RIM can't afford to deliver less than A+ communication right now.

bxp24

Exactly. But I think an even worse communications gaffe happened over a year ago when RIM announced BB10 (BBX). By announcing the shift before truly understanding how long it would take to release BB10 phones, RIM stifled interest in BB7 devices and made 2012 a lame-duck period.

I get wanting to generate excitement and developer interest around the new platform, but there has to be a way to announce such a transition without killing your existing revenue stream. For example, RIM should have encouraged devs to create BB7 apps by reassuring them that RIM would make it easy to port those apps to BB10 with tools, workshops, etc. And, especially now with the BB10 delay, RIM should be encouraging consumers to upgrade to BB7 devices by announcing that anyone who purchases, or already purchased, a BB7 phone between a certain time range would be entitled to a very appealing BB10 upgrade price.

Nokia made the same mistake when announcing their shift to Windows Phone even though Symbian was still in wide use and they were close to releasing a Meego phone (the N9), which by all accounts, was a compelling device. Subsequently, the N9 was DoA.

I understand the desire for a "laser focus" and showing that the entire company is aligned around a single mission. But, it would've been wiser to keep developing BB7 and adding significant enhancements--especially if the platform will still be viable in emerging markets. And I agree with Chris somewhat around the BB10 statements in this recent press blitz: yes, we get that building a new platform is not easy and that BB10 sets the stage for new mobile computing capabilities. But, no one is asking about BB10's automotive integration or other OEM opportunities: people just want to see it on phones already.

PineappleUnderTheSea

I didn't think it was too professional. CEOs and executives shouldn't have to go to the media and try to "explain" themselves, it simply sounds too defensive. You do that during earnings calls, not days after. It just gave me a sense that they are in more trouble than I thought they were.

janeka

You know you cannot please everyone. Its a pitty to sit here and watch how everyone throw shots at a company who wants to be different,bring an amazing user experience to a fresh OS. Just goes to show you the market isn't ready for a change.

spin831089009700900098609900PB

Newsflash: RIMM stock is at $7 and "went down" yesterday, during, this "press push". Analysts, the media, and the markets are not "buying what these guys are saying" especially, after the "BB 10 push up debacle".

This "lack of trust" began with Balsille and, sadly, has engulfed this new leadership team at RIM.

Glad you liked it though.

canuck_67

Newsflash : the market doesn't care about anything but making money. One way or another. There is one thing maybe you are missing. For every transaction there is a buyer and a seller. Someone has to be buying this stock.

ajst222

I thought Thorsten did a great job in the article personally. I didn't get to see the VP's thing though

togardergrosse

Whatever they do, they need to survive in this (more than) 6 months delay of BB10.
Keep on try-- I mean doing on pushing BB7 to EMEA, LatAm, APAC. Give free apps or something like they did to the US with the BB7 launch. And get the messages delivered. That is the most important thing.

gknaggs

One quarter is not six months last time I checked. I do find it hilarious though, when bb10 devices were targeted for Q4 2012 assumption became October. The earliest possible date. The when a Q1 2013 delay came in to play, assumption becomes March. The latest possible date. Q4 could have meant December for all we know and Q1 could be February. This ridiculous exaggeration of timeline is not fact. Worst case scenario it COULD have been as such. And this is part of the media problem RIM is facing, ramming worst case scenario onto the forefront as fact. Little research is apparently needed to become a reporter. Don't get me wrong, the delay was a shock and is a bit of a disappointment but will in no way affect my buying a bb10 device whenever it is that they come out.

togardergrosse

Now is still in July, and six more from now will already be in Q1 2013. I wrote 6 months (+ more than) because myself didn't believe they would release it early in the year 2013.
Another way to wrote that would be "In less than 8 month.."

gknaggs

Sorry. I was totally not trying to sound like a total asshat when I responded to your post. It just came out that way. Again I apologize for my tone.

Mister-E

"Do or do not, there is no try..." - Yoda

glamrlama

How about ...

"Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force (QNX), and a powerful ally it is."

BB10 better be the OS I'm looking for!

Mister-E

I actually liked Thorsten's letter in the Globe and Mail. I do think RIM is trying to do too much with its first release of BB 10. It has to be a competitve product, but they could add features like automotive integration to a future OS update.

I think part the purpose of this media blitz was not only to deal with the media, but also, due to the upcoming AGM, to show investors that management is doing something. I don't think it had much effect with the media, but I think it may have had some effect with other stakeholders.

spin831089009700900098609900PB

How did RIMM's stock do, yesterday? Dow was up about 74 points. Their talk is becoming very "hollow and cheap" like when Balsille, used to speak.

Mister-E

Stakeholders are not only shareholders. As to my comment regarding the AGM, I think it was more of a pre-emptive action for the coming meeting to demonstrate they are actively addressing the current state.

spin831089009700900098609900PB

E - have ingredients owned 7 BlackBerry, listened to every earnings call, keynote speech, conference, BB World et all - I have a pretty good sense of the "stakeholders" and if you did some due diligence, you would know that there was not an "original" thought spewed by any of the executives, yesterday.

Except, perhaps, that they are beginning to feel a bit more pressure from the "stakeholders". And their feet need to be held to the fire.

Puz_zled

Dude.... the stock price?! Why the all consuming fixation on RIM's stock price?! RIM's Nasdaq ticker symbol is RIMM but this is not the company at all just some kick around futures/ options, long buyers, short sellers, hedgers play toy driven by rational and irrational factors at all times. The stock price can do many things on any given day, week month,that have ZERO to do with what is actually going on in a company. Stock prices are manic depressives without meds.
From the virtual keyboard of my Neutrino powered Playbook

axllebeer

+1 for Yoda. He was a doer an that's why he lived for 100's of years.

Ben1232

Looks like a big pint of beer next to Thorsten !

Kiddo2050

Chris your posts are utter crap... sorry I've run out of nice things to say. You do know who's paying your bills don't you.... think about it... think hard.

Mister-E

That's a bit harsh. Don't bother posting if you don't have anything meaningful to say.

feldmen01

I don't know where your hostility is coming from...

Whether you agree with him or not, your attitude stinks.

Personally I am on the fence with last night's media Blitz. I am glad that they are active, trying to get the word across, but at the same time it was very forgettable and I'm not confident any of it will stick.

BruvvaPete

You seem fed up. Feel free to close your account. Don't look back.

menaknow

Interesting review, and good insight.

I didn't think it was that bad either. But it wasn't that good either.

And I agree 100%. They need to get themselves prepared for the tuff questions. Because this quarter and next will have some tuff questions.

Where is this CMO that is suppose to be experienced? Shouldn't have he had said, OK c-team, we need to prepare prepare.

spin831089009700900098609900PB

Chris

You must have read some of my multiple blots, yesterday, to come with some of your content here. The only thing I am surprised about is that nobody here has called you "angry" or "whining" for stating some very simple truths about yesterday

RIM's stock is $7!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! With no "visible signs" of a "catalyst" for any good news at all for the remainder of 2012!!!!!!!====

In a space that moves as quickly as mobile that is, almost as criminal, of the puffery, empty promises and all out lies that Balsille used to grace us with on earnings calls for the past 3 years.

I understand why Kevin ran an iPhone 4S review, a couple of months ago, in the middle of the BlackBerry section of Crackberry - he knows that there is a real chance that RIM may not be able to get out of this mess alive. That said, it was a bit rude that I was kicked off of this Site for a while for expressing my difference of opinion with that blog post, but that is a different story.

Bottom line, you are "much closer" to the reality of what transpired yesterday than many here, who do not even know that most of what was said by Thor, yesterday, has been a complete rehash of what he has been saying since he became CEO.

Oh sorry, with one exception - the BB 10 that he promised us Q4 this year has been bumped to next year. No cogent explanation "why" (apparently we don't deserve one) just more pitiful bad news from the leadership at RIM.

From my Playbook

Puz_zled

Dude.... the stock price?! Why the all consuming fixation on RIM's stock price?! RIM's Nasdaq ticker symbol is RIMM but this is not the company at all just some kick around futures/ options, long buyers, short sellers, hedgers play toy driven by rational and irrational factors at all times. The stock price can do many things on any given day, week month,that have ZERO to do with what is actually going on in a company. Stock prices are manic depressives without meds.
From the virtual keyboard of my Neutrino powered Playbook
Sorry for the double post but it fits better here

gknaggs

And seriously, no cogent reason? Why is the, to paraphrase, "coding backlog" not cogent? Perhaps they figured they could make the deadline but in recent weeks realized they may be pushing it a bit too close for comfort. So perhaps Mr. Heins made a call, then and there, that he would push back the date to give them so breathing room. These lines of "lies and treachery and deceit" are sad and alarming to say the least.

mnhockeycoach99

Someone kick spin831089009700900098609900PB... his record is skipping again.

anthogag

I liked RIM's media blitz. I hope they do more to keep us informed and interested.

Jtaylor1986

Chris I generally like your posts and this comment isn't specifically directed at you but the financial analyst community generally thinks its much more important to the world than it really is which is why RIM should just clap shut and say nothing at all until BB10 is released. Nobody mainstream talked negatively about Jim and Mike until the company started trending in the wrong direction even though they are apparently both satan incarnate now.

What value are financial analysts really adding to the world they are just all playing a zero sum game to try to be a better gambler than the next guy. This PR blitz yesterday was mostly directed at the financial community but really all RIM needs to do know is just sell. Trying to improve their communication(and I am not including advertising in this) with the media/financial people is a drop in the buck at this point.

thedark722

I think the problem is that people listen to the media, and the media tends to listen to the analysts (probably why some analysts consider themselves journalists...). With a publicly traded company, your butt (read: financial state) is out there for the world to see. As much as I agree that shutting up and putting out a great product would be an ideal strategy, unfortunately for RIM, that isn't an option right now. They can't hide their balance sheet and if they don't stand up and address the numbers, they'll get ripped apart even worse than they already are. Analysts would continue to pummel them, "journalists" would continue to rehash analysts' commentary, and the general public would hear nothing but the regurgitated iterpretation of balance sheets. And, contrary to what many accountants/analysts would say, balance sheets don't really tell the whole story. Analysts don't really bring any value other than translating what the numbers say happened already. They make inferences about the future based on history, but the future isn't set. Any number of things can drastically change the direction of a company and completely put the lie to an anticipated future that is primarily based on historical trending. As cliche and over used as the comparison is, Apple showed this to be fact. I'm hoping BB10, whenever it comes, is one of those "any number of things" and changes the field.

but all this is not saying they did a great job addressing the issues.

rickbansal

Chris, I agree with your assessment.

RIM has no credibility left and the interviews they did made them even less credible (which I didn't think was possible). How can there be nothing wrong with the company now? Wasn't it under Heins' watch they slipped BB10 again?

We know it's not easy to build a mobile OS, especially in a timely manner that's why only Google and Apple have successful ones. RIM has just shown they do not have the capacity to do it. By capacity, I'm not referring to technical ability but proper management and marketing.

RIM management has really screwed the pooch on this.

Mister-E

I don't think you are being fair with Heins. If you remember, they were expecting to launch BB 10 late 2012. What is late 2012? Sometime between October - December. So a slip of a month or two brings us to Q1 2013. Not surprising when you are bringing a brand new OS to market, and one that comes as promised, and without any major issues. My main concern is that Q1 2013 may translate to summer 2013. Judge Heins when the product gets released.

rickbansal

I'm sorry but Heins does not get a pass from me on this. He's been with the company for years now in an executive position and should've known what stage the BB10 development was in.

The last thing RIM could afford was a slip. They been working on this for 2+ years now. At this point nothing he says can be believed. A quarter has 3 months so it could 9 months from now before we ever see a BB10 device. Think about 9 months is an eternity in the tech business.

Mister-E

Creating an OS is not the same as repairing a car. It is impossible to predict exactly when it will get done. The closer to completion you can have a better idea. I do agree with you that three months can turn to nine, and I think that is what most are concerned about.

HabsSuck

With all do respect, Heins could care less what you think
He's only focused on BB10.

BruvvaPete

Not everyone in a management or executive position would know everything that's going on in the positions above them. It's all a need to know basis :)

MaxPayne79

i don't know, i have great reception on my blackberry. all my apps work. sure twitter for blackberry needs to be updated to a professional status app but as long as i keep barking at them, they will eventually do it. i love my bb. i have a ton of fun with it all day everyday. no phone can come close to what i need except for a bb. I'm good to go. i love me bold 9900. convinced paris hilton to rock one. (long story). ;) And bb10 will be fucking awesome and this company will never go under. they may end up in one building with 150 employees, but they will be around. And i liked Heins' editorial in the globe. So people lets focus on this insane 45 degree heat instead of rims stumblings. All effort is good effort imo and it's up to the people to chose whether they wish to be positive or negative. so be positive. hack and take down bgr. ;) and let's all look forward to bb10!

brhilaire

Like I said before. The biggest blunder was only acknowledging Canada. Mention and thanks should have been made to the countries who are keeping RIM alive. My country's population is about 90% blackberry users. I'm truly disappointed. I don't think that their speech was fluid enough also. The managing director's speech seemed pre written and he was unable to adapt it to address the host's question with great effect.

br14

He was either talking to a Canadian journalist or writing in a Canadian newspaper.

Hence his focus on Canada.

the_sleuth

Chris, one of your better articles. The media blitz shows RIM execs want to change the negative messages from the media and analysts. The latest delay of BBOS 10 opened a Pandora's Box. RIM execs lack the credibility now to contain the bad momentum facing the company much like Palm.

Techno-Emigre

Hey, Chris. I have really enjoyed your articles, but I have to (mostly) disagree with you on this one. I just didn't read all that negativity into RIM's effort to correct some of the misconceptions out there. Although you and I are in different fields, I have sat on several boards and didn't have a problem with what RIM was putting out there.

I do agree that RIM is trying to do too much with the first release of BB10. I think that pushing out an excellent OS for mobile devices that leap-frogs the other guys is necessary. But it sounds as though they are trying to change the way people think about mobile devices up front. I say, just build the foundation for expansion and crank out some astounding updates that make people feel like they are getting more than they paid for.

I know I am biased because I have PlayBooks, but I think that device is one of the best adverts they could use for BB10. If they would fix it so the PB can sync with Outlook, it would make such an excellent example of what is to come. Forget the toys and go for the business apps. Encourage professionals to maximize the PB for presentations, so large groups of people are witnessing that flawless multitasking! The average consumer has been mislead by "tech writers" that don't know what they are talking about. Let them watch, whip out their tablets and try to duplicate the moves. They can't. That is deep learning.

Most professionals have been in situations where a few words from them would clear up a lot of misconceptions only it would be unwise to do so. I keep feeling like RIM is dying to let us know more but just can't for a lot of reasons. Groan! Just get this baby born! It must be hard for those giving up personal time and straining as hard as they can toward the finish line to then hear people upset who would not be if they only knew ...

BeckerSK

I agree, Chris your blog was not to your usual standards. I would not call it an article since it is largly opinions. Based on your background I am pretty sure you have never turned around a company so to play arm chair quarterback is not a position of strength. Your comments sounded more like a defense of the analysts sector. Employees don't care anymore about the media comments then movie stars care about what gossip columnists say. What employees do pay attention to is leadership. The appeal of Heinz is his honesty and ernest belief in RIM. Leadership is having the courage to stay the course on strategy even in the face of criticism and people looking for a quick fix. Leadership is built from integrity in purpose. Heinz put himself on the front lines, accepted responsibility and was fighting for the company. The employees will notice that

Perjade

When you read the different comments from some Tech- sites like ZD net, All Things Dig. , Gizmodo , RIM and Thorsten Heins are more or less becoming a laughing stock. They make fun of Thorsten calling him "Jim Balsillie 2.0 ", saying that he is delusional and that he is living in "Happy- Fun Rainbow land" !
In this interview he came out to defensive, more or less denying the problems in RIM. He should have taken a more humble position admitting the many problems in RIM. Now he sounded just like Mike and Jim did some years ago. Same old RIM. To many it looks like Mr. Heins is just the "messenger Boy" not really the Boss.

HabsSuck

Release an awesome BB10 in Q1, and shut all the naysayers up.

randall2580

Chris - I really enjoyed your post here I know you knew you would take some heat from the faithful for it. I think you had some good points.

To answer your question - Heins et al came out with the intention to take back the top of the page regarding RIM and from what I read in the financial post I don't think they succeeded. When the response is "RIM CEO denies company in death spirial" you didn't do your job - and I agree thats on the PR guys who didn't prepare them well enough.

My biggest complaint with what I read about was the "push back" that RIM has money in the bank, and is growing their subscriber base - when they know there is much more to the story and don't talk about their capital spending which makes the money in the bank a bit of a straw man. No mention that the current inventory is a bit of an albatross and as you rightly point out all that is secondary when they lost money last quarter and expect to continue to struggle until they have BB10 to sell (and they are going to have to build it out at some point and that's going to hurt cash as well).

I think their biggest problem is the software is not close to being ready. Compare and contrast what RIM is doing to what Google is doing with Glass. Both are not ready for prime time - Google wont let anyone near the software that runs the product yet - and yet the buzz surrounding it should make RIM jealous.

Mummy2

Chris,

Well done. Rim should be talking specifics about BB10, and soon. In NA, people and carriers aren't excited about BB7, or about RIM doing well in non-NA markets yet losing money. They aren't Blackberry enthusiasts. They need to be convinced that BB10 is worth waiting for, maybe even why they should hold fire on the iPhone 5, Windows Phone 8 and Jelly Bean or Key Lime Pie until they see BB10. Strategic teasers, leaks, demos -- and an anticipatory ad campaign would help a lot in this regard. Oh yeah, and they should learn to speak to analysts in terms that analysts find compelling.

yanicmb

chris i agree with you 100 percent , sometimes people on this site are too diehard and loyal to see the literal truth, that the company is scrambling and is trying their best to put on a brave front

marko868

RIM is like a dog chasing its tail totally confused the PR department doesn't know what the marketing department is doing and they can't seem to stop the leaks does this happen to Apple, Microsoft, Google so regular?

BruvvaPete

I agree. I do think that only one point person should be out there at a later date with a solid message. Cohesiveness is not quite there. Keep going with BB7 and hush about BB10 until just before release. Let the devs do their thing and prepare to make loot for the time and effort they put into their product(s). I'd think they don't need the distraction.

lnichols

Nothing like an angry mob of investors who will demand to know WTF is wrong with RIM on the 10th. I expect to hear nothing over we have heard out of RIM with the buzzword bingo, but I do expect their to be a lot of reporting about pissed off people.

mawil1013

Chris,

Shut tbe fxxk up. Both guys did what needed to be done and they spoke from the heart and not a script.

I now firmly believe these guys are honestly doing everything that can be done to continue BlackBerry as a viable alternative to iphone and android.

There's not anymore to say, all that's left is the doing. I feared that the corporation was secretly doing otherwise. But for them to come out and say what they did indicates otherwise.

Michaelaw

AfroZepher

I agree with Chris 100% They simply did not consider their audience thoughtfully. . . I guess they were more prepared for the AGM than for the general public. . .

Costa84

How can some of you say that Heins doesnt know where BB10 development progress is because he isn't spitting out every detail, I thought they were just trying to keep as much as they could under wraps...or maybe I'm wrong.

I have faith in RIM, and their recent public speakings just meant that they're finally fighting back against not only rumors, but bad news. Personally; I saw a lot more positive press than anything from the recent interviews and articles.

Yes; their stock did drop again after their quarterly news, but again, all this bad news is mostly based about the North American region.

I am excited to say, that I'm headed to the meeting on the 10th too! Say what you want; but I also did buy more stock today. It not only lowered the initial cost of my original stock purchase, but I can't see it drop much or at all from here.

br14

If I want to read negative comment about RIM I can find it anywhere. Sounds like you must be holding RIMM to feel so negative!

Thorsten Heins is a German speaker and is never going to be a great communicator in English. Having said that he comes across as intelligent, honest, and articulate. Both the other two representatives are new to me, and so perhaps this was their first time facing the camera.

I thought on the whole they did Ok, though one guy was clearly answering on message - like a politician. It doesn't sound any more sincere when it's not a politician.

The CEO is not allowed to say whatever he wants in a financial report briefing and therefore came across a little stilted. Clearly many answers were pre-prepared, and he read from a text.

So far as the BB10 delay is concerned, I would not be surprised to find RIM has delayed the launch in order to accommodate carriers.

There are several devices being launched in the fall, and the last thing RIM needs is to find their products not even out on the shelf because carriers don't want to damage sales of higher margin items.

Not for the first time. I'm sure I read that Verizon were in part responsible for the early launch of the original Storm, bad press over which started the current PR slide. Perhaps they're going to push the BB10 devices in January.

Scroat

So this must be what it felt like to be on the Titanic.

Clinto

Chris, you are the most unbiased talented writer for Crackberry. I loved your post here. I couldn't agree more with what you said. RIM is bleeding badly and they need to pull their head out of their rear and get with it when they are addressing the media.

I'm cheering for the home team just like everybody else here, but I'm no dummy and I appreciate you taking off the rose colored glasses and not sugar coating everything RIM does.

Excellent Writing! I Loved It.

needforbbx

I think they did well. We've all been saying that RIM needs to speak out and take charge of the message. That is what they did and I hope to see more of it. I also hope to see more regular updates on progress they are making on BB10, which was suggested in the audio recording with the VP of Global Sales.

dandbj13

If they had delivered a proper message durring the conference call, they wouldn't have needed to go on this media blitz. The whole thing seemed like the knee-jerk reaction that it was.

padamssm

I watched the videos and listened and read the interviews, and I didn't get the feeling they were defensive. I thought those folks were doing what so many of us have been hoping for all along - telling their story in a straight-forward manner. The message that they know getting it right with the next product/platform release is a make-or-break deal came through clearly to me. They didn't whine about the bad press but did address it. I think it can't be said enough that they're alive and moving forward with focus and commitment, and they're going to see it through.

thymaster

Boo, I thought they did a great job yesterday. After hearing the delay of BB10, I was really upset and had tons of questions to ask RIM. But after hearing yesterday outcry, I've never felt more assure that BB10 is coming in 2013 with a big bang.

Please stop trolling.

mapsonburt

Chris, don't listen to the rabid fanboys (of any of the three ilks). Your article was bang on and I hope the minions at RIM read it. As a corporate executive trained to deal with media, they broke about every rule there is. It was a very poorly executed strategy and I almost believe that someone very high up there said, we are going to get killed at the AGM so lets get out in front of it with some positive press to perhaps save our job(s)... I REALLY want RIM to survive but the more they make bone headed moves like this, the less confident I am in their success. If this is the best their new CMO can do, RIM had better restart the search.

Superfly_FR

Tough. That's what I percept reading your article Chris.
RIM is, on many aspects, sitting between two seats ;

- BB10 against BB7
- Define BB10 specs against "Momentum"

I believe they delivered (generic) answers on both and that your perception may be biased by your "expert" profile (zero irony here). RIM messages were intended to general audience (incl. financial) and they have to do this in simple words, not in details. I believe this is only the first round.

Could it have been better ?
Yes, certainly.
How ?
Demonstrate
Can ?
Barely ... yet.

Within few weeks(?) we should see a BB10 OS upgrade dropping by our alphas'. Not sure of what it will add (U.I ? Keyboard? PIM ?) so it's hard to tell if it will demonstrate anything, but I really hope it will.

Finally, what did I get from this media Blitz is this :

"We have one opportunity to get BlackBerry 10 launched properly, and we're going to get it right. This is not just a handset OS. There's a car component to this. There is an embedded component. This is a platform and we're putting the plumbing in place to connect to cars and OEM. You gotta get it right and it's hugely complex. We'll come out extremely strong next year a with a fully-baked product."

At least the EXTEND notion (bad they didn't named it) gains some concrete explanation.

FlightRiskAK

BlackBerry users do. But nobody does anything without first trying. My Torch still rocks and I will still wait not so patiently for BB10. I am glad they are determined to get it right. That means I will get a better product.

lawguyman

RIM could not possibly succeeded with its media blitz because actions speak louder than words. Its action (another BB10 delay) is much more important than what it said, all of which lacked substance.

The only thing that anyone wants to hear from RIM is that the next generation of Blackberry phones will be released on [insert date here].

Instead, we get "it's gonna be great, trust me. We need the time to make it perfect." This from a company that in the past has always needed more time but never released something that was perfect. No one is buying it anymore.

Yemson

So what do you suggest we all do? Leave RIMM for good and stop posting in Crackberry right this second? Buy iPhones, Android Phones starting now? Should we all go to our carriers and demand money back because RIMM's stock is at $7 (!!!!!!!!)? Should we stop using our BB ASAP just because BB10 isn't coming on Oct. 10?
Oh and please enlighten us about perfection, since there isn't a phone, tablet OS or anything devoid of flaws and bugs in the real world.

ChrisInSD

Amen--the only post you've written that I completely agree with, Chris. You hit the hammer on the head. To the rest of the commenters who think RIMM can do no wrong, get a clue.

The lash-out against the US is what a wounded animal does--blame the ubiquitous "they" for my own problems. And blathering on about BB7 just reinforces the broad image painted by the media--often quite accurately--that this company's version of reality is divorced from everyone else's. If Steve Jobs had his "reality distortion field" then RIM has has its own "parallel universe."

Hopefully corporate communications and investor relations are reading this--though, sadly, I highly doubt the competence of the individuals working in those departments.