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Former Apple Marketing Insider Sheds Light on Apple's 'Controlled Leaks'
Martellaro notes that Apple engages in the practice of controlled leaks for a number of reasons, including motivational, market research, competitive, and hype-building concerns. Controlled leaks, which are always conducted in person or over the phone in order to leave no paper trail, also serve as a prime way for Apple to disseminate information while still appearing to maintain its veil of secrecy about unreleased products.
I know, because when I was a Senior Marketing Manager at Apple, I was instructed to do some controlled leaks.
The way it works is that a senior exec will come in and say, "We need to release this specific information. John, do you have a trusted friend at a major outlet? If so, call him/her and have a conversation. Idly mention this information and suggest that if it were published, that would be nice. No e-mails!"