Over the past few weeks i’ve been reading a number of articles from the big media outlets all proclaiming the death of RIM. Most of these articles are pretty grim and their headlines say it all. I have nothing against a good or controversial headline its more the content of the article i’m interested in. What i’ve noticed is the content of these articles being fairly negative on RIM don’t really offer much helpful insight for either the consumer or RIM itself.
Two articles in particular this week are examples of what I mean.
All Things D: Bring Out Your Dead: Is Research In Motion The Next DEC?
So what I am wondering is what the role of the media should be in a situation like this where a company is struggling. Given that the media is extremely influential and actually does affect the mind share of consumers, it seems that if all the outlets go around saying RIM is dead, consumers will believe it and write them off no matter how good any future products may be.
Perhaps it would be more helpful if these articles contained a balance and point out what has gone wrong but offer helpful suggestions on what RIM could do to remain competitive. The result would be that the market may not write RIM off entirely and instead look to see if RIM responds to the helpful insights to the media, using the media to their advantage, and still have a shot at competing.
Too often it seems like the media is powerful enough to claim a companies death, thus affecting the mind share of investors and consumers and in return create a self fulfilling prophecy where the company actually does disappear.
Now i’m not saying the media does not always write negatively. In fact a number of good articles have come out that do offer helpful suggestions. I simply believe they are more rare than the norm. A few examples:
In BGR’s Open letter to BlackBerry bosses: Senior RIM exec tells all as company crumbles around him the letter itself contains helpful insights and suggestions.
Even though we are analysts not journalists Tim and I have also covered the topic.
Tim Bajarin wrote one for PC Magazine called What RIM Needs To Do To Survive that offered a number of suggestions for RIM.
And in my article last week for the tech section of Time.com I wrote about The Tragic Decline of BlackBerry and offer some insights as well on how to turn it around.
The bottom line is I would like to see more competition and consumer choice than less. I know negative news drives traffic but what i’m hoping is that there is a balance. I’d love to see the media also use its influence to do all they can to help struggling companies better compete going forward.
Again it comes back to my original question. What should the role of the media be when a company is down?