WHAT YOU DIDN'T SEE IN MY REPORT
I did a story Monday on Blackboard.com, a software company that helps schools and universities manage everything online from posting class work to faculty training. The stock is up 50% year to date, and it is an amazing under the radar company. CNBC producer Jeff Daniels researched the company and then sent a producer to interview the CEO and customers at a company event. Here's what you did not see on air.
The PR person was out sick, so the head of marketing services was put in charge (along with an outside PR rep) to help our crew connect with the right people. But then our producer (a freelancer) was told she could not ask certain questions. Here's the email she sent us after the shoot:
"Blackboard nixed all of the questions that had to do with how much money the universities spend and had me replace the question about whether or not there might be some Blackboard features that they would like to see changed to, "what Blackboard features excite you most?" Apparently, there is a new edition of Blackboard coming out soon that has already addressed the issues that their clients have and Blackboard felt that it would be a little 'outdated' to ask that question."
WHAT? She also said they wouldn't let her ask the CEO all of the questions we wanted. WHAT??? Did the marketing guy really think he could control the message? Nixing questions about money? WE'RE CNBC FOR CRYIN' OUT LOUD! You're a publicly traded company!
After we got the email, Jeff alerted the regular company PR woman aware of the situation, and she apologized profusely. Again, she was sick that day. She was even sicker after we told her what happened. By the way, just below is the video report I did on Blackboard.com.