Intel : Holding back

Thoughtful issue management is timed out.

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The Site

Intel, the world’s leading maker of computer microprocessors, responds to regulatory rulings and legal actions against it, but with a time lag. Intel’s media area, Press Room, includes a heading for Legal Information in its left navigation menu, with featured links to sub-sections on Competition in the Innovation Economy and Litigation and Legal Proceedings. The former is led by a Latest News item and a further link to ‘all recent news and developments’, with tabs lower down the page to explore either the AMD Antitrust Case (US) or Other Regulatory Matters, which are navigable by country/region. Right-hand panels lead to an Official Statement about the long-running AMD case and to four topics (for example, Intel’s Response to the EC decision) under the heading Whitepapers and Other Information. None of the featured reports or linked content refers to or deals with the public announcement yesterday [4 November] by the State Attorney General of New York of the launch of a federal antitrust lawsuit against Intel. Other areas of Press Room such as Latest Press Releases (most recent headline, 28 October), Press Kits and Intel Blogs are similarly lacking in coverage as, elsewhere on the site, are the Intel Policy Blog and Policy section.

The Takeaway

Intel has a well-thought-out approach to the use of its site to put its side of contentious issues but it seems unable to think quickly or on its feet when an issue flares up. So, it appears wrong-footed or simply embarrassed by the federal antitrust lawsuit while major news sources and countless blogs make a meal of reporting and commenting on it in the context of unfavourable findings in Europe on a similar issue and the ongoing case filed in the US by AMD, an Intel competitor. Ironically, the exemplary way in which Press Room is set up to present Intel’s perspective on contentious issues – clear signposting to forcefully reasoned content – may add to the unfavourable impression by emphasising the failure to address the new developments. Indications elsewhere suggest that the site managers who devised the set up may also be frustrated: the lack of responsive press releases, official statements and company blog coverage point to a corporate policy of reaction – rather than damage – limitation that is at odds with the dynamic of the medium and, increasingly, of the news.
First published 15 August, 2013
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