RIM cautious in outage communications

BOSTON: Research In Motion took a measured approach to disseminating information regarding its BlackBerry outage last week.

BOSTON: Research In Motion took a measured approach to disseminating information regarding its BlackBerry outage last week.

The company issued its first statement on the outage at 9 am on Wednesday. The outage began late Tuesday evening, and was resolved by around 10:30 on Wednesday.

"The top priority for BlackBerry users was getting service restored. That happened quickly and was immediately followed by a statement with an apology," said Jerry Johnson, EVP of strategic planning at RIM's agency Brodeur, in an e-mail. "The next priority was to find the root cause of the problem. That took some time."

The company eventually determined that the cause of the outage was a software glitch.

"RIM's general policy has been to issue statements in such situations only when it has the most complete and accurate information possible that can directly address the questions and concerns of BlackBerry users," Johnson said. "Some may view this approach as conservative. But in situations like this it is often better to be deliberative and factual than fast and vague."

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