A little free media relations advice for Time Warner’s CEO

Time Warner’s CEO is pejorative in his comments about Netflix.  Sorry Jeff, being dismissive of a new technology isn’t smart business it only serves to show your company as defensive and behind the times.  Anyone recall Steve Ballmer’s reaction to the first iPhone in an interview?  He dismissed it as being less than significant because no one wanted a device without a keyboard.   A) He was dead wrong and his snide tone only served to make him look more goon-like and B) Doesn’t Microsoft sell tables and now aren’t they in the mobile touch-screen device market?  Sorry non-keyboard input teams at Microsoft: Mr Ballmer thinks you guys are idiots…

So here is the article: http://www.electronista.com/articles/10/12/13/time.warner.chief.claims.netflix.insignificant/

Now Time Warner’s boss is saying Netflix is cheap and in the traditional world of big budget TV with network funded shows with megastars perhaps he’s right.  But look where content production is headed.  Let’s consider Felicia Day’s The Guild or Chad Vader from Blame Society.  These are excellent, high quality and entertaining series produced using smaller budgets and built to satisfy an ever diversifying audience.

So for Jeff and Steve here’s a little free advice. When you’re threatened by “the next thing”  try something other than belittling or insulting.  Have a shred of tact.  When the iPhone comes out don’t say, “no one will want it, it doesn’t have a keyboard”  Try this instead:  “I’m not sure that customers will want to learn a new user interface.”

And Jeff, rather than set yourself up as the guy who let the “Albanian Army” wipe out his company how about saying something like,”Netflix may have appeal for a certain sector of content consumers, but we believe that Time Warner offers premium content that our customers have come to expect from their entertainment choices.”

Tearing down up-and-coming companies or technologies isn’t smart.  You may feel better, but it tends to set you up for a bigger and more spectacular fall when the end eventually finds you…

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