Apple doesn't make sausage, but if they did, it would probably be delicious, cost a month's pay, and you would be salivating for it months in advance thanks to media hype.
So how does the trickle of information about products -- like the eagerly awaited Apple tablet -- get from within the maddeningly secretive walls of Apple's campus and into the press? Former Apple Senior Marketing Manager John Martellaro explains:
The communication is always done in person or on the phone. Never via e-mail. That's so that if there's ever any dispute about what transpired, there's no paper trail to contradict either party's version of the story. Both sides can maintain plausible deniability and simply claim a misunderstanding. That protects Apple and the publication.
Such intrigue! It's almost as if a bunch of nerds raised on Ian Fleming and Ayn Rand were actually put in positions of economic power.
Apple's deft handling of the press is common knowledge, but the specifics -- from private meetings and phone calls to who gets the byline when the story is published -- still amaze.
And it's one thing when Fake Steve Jobs sagely calls out former Apple employee Kai-Fu Lee for being both puppet and puppet master in a "parody" blog post, entirely another when a former Apple employee breaks the company's code of omerta.
In the end, Apple wants you (and its investors) to know that you can expect to pay $1,000 (too much? too little?) for something that will allow you to read about leaked details of upcoming Apple products in the Journal (after buying a subscription to said Journal).
In full color! And maybe even 3D! Everybody wins! Especially Steve Jobs and Rupert Murdoch.
Jackson West is, maybe shamefully, running OS X on a hackintoshed netbook.