TSMC gets into PR funk

Earlier this week we contacted a PR bunny purporting to be from TSMC to ask some pointed questions about the firm’s ongoing 40 nanometre saga and recent comments by its supreme ruler, Morris Chang, about “chamber mismatch” problems.

After two days with no response, we sent a gentle nudge to aforementioned PR bunny to remind her we still needed an answer.

The response? A polite but dismissive “I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.”

Fair enough, but by day four this hack was getting rather hacked off. So after another email pointing out that four days should be plenty of time for the dear bunny to gather her thoughts, we received the following:

“Thanks for your patience. We still haven’t gotten a hold of TSMC regarding these questions. We will continue to ask if there are any new updates regarding 40nm that we can share. You may have seen that TSMC posted earnings yesterday. The full release can be found on their press release page.”

Patience?? Now that is simply insulting.

Without missing a blink, this TechEye reporter informed the PR bunny that our patience had now officially expired.

After all, why is it that the bunny can’t seem to get hold of TSMC? Does she not work for them as their US PR rep? Does the US TSMC PR rep not have access to phones? Or email? Are they forced to send media requests by carrier pigeons? Is there a week long national holiday in Taiwan?

When we put these concerns to TSMC’s agency, Edelman, it said it   wanted to “apologise for this being a point of frustration.

“Despite what it may sound like, we have forwarded your questions off to TSMC. As soon as we have the response, we’ll be in touch.”

We won’t hold our breath,  but thanks.

No wonder TSMC is getting itself a bad reputation.

A rather fabber fab, GlobalFoundries, typically responds to press queries within hours, if not minutes. Head of Global comms for that firm, Jon Carvill, told TechEye that this was down to his firm’s “high-touch model” policy of engaging with the technology media “predicated on a philosophy of direct engagement and responsiveness with strong in-house communications capabilities.”

In other words, if you want a job done properly, do it yourself.

That’s not to say Glofo doesn’t use outside agencies, but Carvill told TechEye that while his firm valued its agency relationships “for scalability,” the model could “add additional time and complexity for quick-turn answers when deadlines are tight and responsiveness is king.

“As a global company we’ve distributed our external communications to best support a world-wide base of customers and partners thereby ensuring we support the growth of our business,” he said. 

He added: “This is in sharp contrast to many existing models that concentrate these resources in one geographic area.”  

And we think we’ve worked out what TSMC’s problem is too. Has less to do with a chamber mismatch and more to do with its chamber pot being full of s**t.