Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Intel Insider Program Debuts as the Chip Giant Pulls TV Spending

Posted by Tom Foremski - June 24, 2008

[Intel is a sponsor of Silicon Valley Watcher.]

I'm a member of a small group of advisors to Intel to provide consulting and feedback on corporate communications programs being developed by the world's largest chip maker.

Tuesday marked the first meeting of the "Intel Insider" group. I know many of the people involved in the creation of the group and also many of those chosen to take part. And I like the calculated risks that Intel is taking by involving some of the top names in the blogosphere and not imposing any restrictions on what we write about. There is some compensation provided for our time. It is mostly in the form of early access to news and also we get to keep some consumer products that contain Intel chips. There is no requirement to write anything about Intel, or the products.

It's an interesting project and I'm always interested in new ventures where we don't yet know what the answers are, where we don't yet know what are the best practices. And as Intel celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, it is a bold step for what has traditionally been a conservative company.

The Intel Insider program seeks to discover some of the best practices in corporate social/new media and in doing so, the results can be shared broadly. There is no restriction on the Intel Insiders sharing the results of the program with others.

What I like about the Intel Insider program is that it's innovative but it's not about technology -- even though Intel's business is all about innovation in technology.

Sean Maloney . . .

Tuesday we got to spend some time with Sean Maloney, Intel's number 2 executive next to CEO Paul Otellini. I've followed Mr Maloney's career for many years, he always gets the most interesting and also some of the toughest jobs at Intel. SMaloney.jpg

Mr Maloney spoke about Intel's decision to pull nearly all of its TV broadcast spend and to go almost completely online. He said it was because Intel could not be sure it was reaching the right people through TV. There will still be some spending on newspaper ads but not much.

Moving online however, is a problem. He said that the fragmentation of the online media and the differences in how that plays out in various countries has created a "fog." It is difficult to know where to spend online and then how best to measure the effectiveness of that spend.

(I will be posting a short video of Mr Maloney discussing this topic as soon as YouTube has processed the material.)

It was very interesting discussing the latest online trends with all the other Intel Insiders, including some of Intel's top communications and marketing people. I'll be sharing some of these discussions in additional posts this week and over the coming months.

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