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We live in a very personal world where PC brands try to connect with us on a more intimate level. Sure, it’s just another form of advertising, but with social networking, it’s easier than ever to get in touch with these companies for support, information on new features, and insight on future products. It’s all rather great, but shouldn’t we able to contact the head honchos of these businesses, too?
Well, it is possible, but it might be a little difficult. Using email, there’s a small chance you can get in touch with the CEOs of the company behind your computer. I can’t guarantee that you will receive a response, but I will say it’s always worth it to speak your mind.
Should You Contact Executives?
Before even attempting to contact the executive of your computer company, consider your purpose. For your convenience. I’ve generically summed up almost every reason for emailing such people into four categories: questions, complaints, praise, and suggestions. However, for most of these, I recommend going through this chain of command for acquiring the solution instead:
- A search engine
- A related online community
- A local computer shop
- Company support
- Higher-ups (directors and managers)
- Big Poppa: The CEO
Basically, this all is summed up into one statement: don’t try to contact the CEO first.
I believe my reasoning is obvious, since there are just some things that the head of an entire company does not need to worry with. Of course, depending on your purpose, some of these steps can be ignored. For instance, if it’s not a question you want to bother them with, skip the first two (unless the community is a direct product of the company where moderators scavenge for feedback). As for complaints, praise, and suggestions, the Internet isn’t going to help you – contacting support should be your first plan of action.
Alternatively, you could just start a movement using Reddit. The site tends to occasionally produce a nice amount of quality torch-mobs.
Pictured: Tim Cook (CEO, Apple), Steve Ballmer (CEO, Microsoft)
What Should You Say?
Keep your emails short and simple. Chief executives likely get several messages every day, and unless yours is easy to consume and digest, you’re probably not going to receive a response. It’s not because Mr. Executive doesn’t like you. Rather, it’s more plausible that there are hordes of emails storming his inbox, and yours is just one among many.
Most of the replies from computer executives that I have seen are in response to simple questions. The sent messages do not seem to take much time out of the CEO’s day and are very concise. At the same time, however, fun emails are accepted. For instance, Tim Cook replied to several congratulation notes regarding his rise to CEO at Apple. Were they tech-related inquiries? No! One response transcript even included a variation of Cook’s alma mater’s motto: “War eagle forever!”
On another note, be polite – oh heavens, be polite. CEOs likely have a lot on their plate (what with running multi-million dollar businesses and all), and the last thing they need is some kind of rude troll in their inbox. Furthermore, if you have legitimate issues to discuss, you likely will want to be taken seriously, so make your business very clear in the most appropriate way possible.
Could Your Email Bring About A Reply?
We are all quite aware that Apple CEO Steve Jobs would openly respond to inquiries about the company’s products. Furthermore, as aforementioned, Tim Cook has even attempted to continue this tradition. By all appearances, this address is a direct line going to the CEO himself. (Of course, we only know this because Apple says so.)
As for Microsoft, Steve Ballmer has suggested that he wants to receive feedback, even offering his email address at a London School of Economics guest lecture. However, it is assumed that all inquiries are merely answered by secretaries.
If you aren’t looking for Cook or Ballmer, there are a few contact email addresses of the executives of other companies floating around out there. Most of these addresses are not a direct line to them, but if they are readily available online, it’s worth a shot. The below email addresses have a zero to little chance of generating a reply, but their respective CEOs have expressed an interest in customer input:
- Dell: Michael Dell, firstname.lastname@example.org (non-direct, possible response)
- HP: Meg Whitman, via contact form (non-direct, no response)
- Asus: Jerry Shen, Jerry_Shen@asus.com.tw (seemingly direct, not sure)
- Google: Larry Page, email@example.com (completely unconfirmed)
- Toshiba: Masahaki Fukakushi, Fukakushi@tai.toshiba.com (completely unconfirmed)
Is It Even Worth It?
Yes. I hope that’s simple enough for you.
No, you may not get a reply. No, they probably aren’t going to give you a job. No, your suggestion for a holographic hard-light keyboard probably will not make it into next year’s model. Despite this, there are valid reasons to keep those emails coming. For example, if a company is making an unknown yet obvious mistake that is making their sales go down, they will likely take a look and see what their customers are saying. With enough feedback about the same issue, they could have a clearer picture as to what is wrong.
As for questions, they may just get answered! With praise, there may be some swag in store – you never know.
What about you? Have you ever contacted the CEO of a company? Did you receive a proper response?