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Unhealthy relations: GOOG, CNET

March 4, 2008

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Ding, ding, ding… And that concludes Round 2 of the (Elinor) Mills (Eric) Schmidt heavyweight bout. A quick recap for you:

  • Google uses the HIMSS conference to launch its health care initiative last week (not really the subject of my blog post but for more on what they announced, check out Marissa Mayer’s post here)
  • Google PR tells CNET reporter, Elinor Mills, that she’ll have 12 minutes with CEO Eric Schmidt in “a ‘one-on-one’ interview” if she flew out to the Orlando conference.
  • Mills gets on a plane (probably the middle seat given the last minute purchase).
  • Mills sits down with Schmidt (with PR rep in tow) and asks about Google Health
  • Mills then asks about the recession’s impact on Google, how it plans to monetize YouTube and, inevitably, the Microsoft / Yahoo acquisition.
  • Schmidt gives her “the Heisman” and ends the interview.
  • Mills then covers the experience (not necessarily the news and ensuing analysis) in her Friday story, My stunted interview with Google’s Eric Schmidt.

After reading Mills’ latest column, it’s clear there’s lingering Round 1 bad blood on both sides, but perhaps more on the part of the reporter?

What I find curious is that Mills did not reveal whether the interview parameters were divulged prior to her getting on a plane. I would hope Google PR would’ve let her know that given the small interview window (i.e. 12 minutes) and significant nature of the news announcement, the questions will be limited in scope to the health topic.

Seems to me Mills could’ve followed up with a number of other insightful questions on the topic at hand rather than engage in the shotgun, rapid fire line of questioning in such a short amount of time.

On the other end, it would be behoove Google PR to invite Mills to drive the 40 miles a few weeks from now to HQ, sit down with Schmidt and finish her line of burning questions. I look forward to reading that piece…

But, shame on Mills for making this personal once again.

And shame on Schmidt for not answering one of the more interesting questions – “how does Google’s offering differ from Microsoft’s HealthVault?”

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