Siemens PR Glitch
The latest example of how not to make friends and influence people comes from the Siemens Automation Summit in Charlotte, N. C. User conferences are now arguably the most important single opportunity for vendors to communicate with the press and analysts for whom the absolute not-to-be-missed sessions are those devoted to the roadmaps for the vendors’ own product portfolio. Hence the not inconsiderable surprise and upset when press and analysts were asked to leave the room for the process automation, discrete automation and motion control roadmap sessions at the Siemens event, rendering their visits, if not worthless, significantly less valuable than they had expected. According to our anonymous, but reliable informant, the explanation given was that the user advisory board was uncomfortable with having the press and analysts present – perhaps understandable in some sessions where users were actually presenting, although it’s not to our knowledge been a problem at, for example, the equivalent Emerson or ABB events – but hardly when it’s the vendor itself that’s presenting. Whatever it was that Siemens didn’t want the fourth estate to hear, it can rest assured that the damage done to its reputation among press representatives present will far outweigh any imagined advantage.