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No. of Recommendations: 20
We the topics that have developed around our shareholder proposals, we have issues that have great potential interest to American investors, and, therefore, of great potential interest to the national print, radio, TV, and web media. To take full advantage of this opportunity, we need to refine and focus our message, and package it for easy media consumption. I believe we have the potential, not only to garner support for our proposal, but also to impact the way all companies respond to shareholders and handle issues of corporate governance.

I've been close to about a dozen media events in my life and one thing I've found is that the media never gets the story quite right. There have always been factual errors, misquotes, quotes taken out of context, an unbalanced perspective, a lack of thorough reporting and/or spin that have served to give the audience an incomplete or distorted picture. That's an unfortunate reality, but something we can work with or even use to our advantage if we package and communicate our message well.

What I'm proposing for now is that we come up with a set of clear, concise quotes that can be used by any of us for interviews. Jounalists can use our thoughts to help shape their articles and any of us who get interviewed for radio or TV will be more eloquent and effective in communicating our mesage by having already rehearsed the quotes. Once our message is refined in this way, individuals on this board can reach out to all sorts of media outlets to see who is willing to help us send our message.

I'll start this thread with an attempt at a few quotes, but I'm counting on the rest of you to improve upon them and add additional ones.

On how we worked together:
"We used the internet to share ideas and build consensus."
"The result was a proposal far better than anything any one of us could have done alone."
"People with a wide range of skills worked togther to produce a complete project."

On the need for shareholder activism:
"This effort answers the question: How can shareholders take responsibility for their investments?"
"Shareholders need to have confidence that the Board of Directors is providing adequate oversight of management before they will be willing to invest in a company.
"This is a model that shareholders for any company can follow.

On our proposal:
"Management's past use of the repurchase program aroused suspicion. As shareholders it was our responsibility to get answers."
"The goal is to make sure the Board of Directors is providing adequate oversight."
"The proposal went through many revisions. In the end, support was nearly unanimous among participants."
"We are trying to get answers to our questions in the least meddlesome and most supportive way possible."
"Or proposal is not perfect in its current form, but we want to work with managment to create one that is."

I'll contribute more ideas as they come to me, but the more help we get from others, the stronger our message will be.

Rodg.
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No. of Recommendations: 5
"companies like Apple are mortgaging our future stock price, by paying our employees with our Share dilution.... and then not returning the value of that dilution in any form back to shareholders...."

"if a company blankets ESO programs to pay ALL employees rather than management.... the costs of that program to shareholders can spiral out of control because of the size of such programs... witness MSFT.... who had to buy back $6 billion in this dilution debt last fiscal year and still couldn't lower the share count which wiped out 55% of its cash flow returned to shareholders in true shareholder equity"

"apple has tried to give away 10% of the company in a single year two years ago in ESO grants to employees.... last fiscal year the number was 6%. This month, who knows how much they gave away?..... Apple will not tell us the final total until a year from now... by the way, you do that math after say five years of this 6% to 10% a year of possible dilution"......



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No. of Recommendations: 4
"This proposal is intended to increase transparnecy into the share repurchase process."

"This proposal is intended to insure adequate attention is being given to this issue by the Board -- even if they choose not to repurchase any shares at this time."

"Without the community of Apple investors at The Motely Fool, this proposal would probably not have come into being."

"Very few companies are fortunate enough to have shareholders as passionate about their company as Apple is about it -- even if Management isn't exactly sure how to respond to that passion."

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"The fact that windows sucks was hardly mentioned at all in our deliberations." :-)

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BTW: Folks, the more I think about it, even thought I think that the shares are a great investment right now, I think that sitting on this huge pile of cash is a fine and dandy thing for Apple to do and I hope that they do not interpret this as a demand for immediate repurchasing. I think that if they did great, but probably better to wait just a tiny bit longer until the economy shows a heartbeat again.
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No. of Recommendations: 0
How about

"Rodger Rafter is snackier than snacky smores."

or

"The Apple Board of Directors tastes like Praelines and Dick Cheney."

Are those soundbites Media Friendly enough for you ;)

David
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No. of Recommendations: 0
"The Apple Board of Directors tastes like Praelines and Dick Cheney."

Shouldn't that be "Pretzels and Dick Cheney"?
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No. of Recommendations: 0
Shouldn't that be "Pretzels and Dick Cheney"?


This joke was dedicated to Dr. Heimlich.

David
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No. of Recommendations: 9
Rodger...

"We used the internet to share ideas and build consensus."

I'd like to see this expounded on a little, as the idea that a group of people who - in all liklihood have never seen or heard each other - can put something of this magnitude together is dynamic and will be of more interest, I think, than anything else to mainstream media. This is an angle the media will be able to focus on, as it enables them to hone it to a *local* edge..

Maybe something like this would be a start:

"Most of the collaborators on the project are both shareholders and Mac users. As such, we have a tremendous interest in seeing Apple succeed, both as a company and as an investment. We utilized the internet to share ideas on how best to do this and built a consensus that this was the greatest contribution we could make to Apple's success - as a company AND as an investment."

You could also use:

"Most of us know each other only as names on a computer screen. (insert some of the more "interesting" names here)... Yet, despite our wide range of backgrounds, experiences and interests, we became one cohesive group, trying to speak with one voice, to the people that can really make things happen at Apple - other shareholders."

"The dialogues on this project went through a myriad of transformations: some people wanted emphasis placed on the share repurchase program, others wanted it placed on the BOD makeup, still others on the dangers of insider trading. In the end, however, a consensus was built, using the Internet for it's highest of purpose: the sharing of information. Many diverse ideas were gathered in one place which, ultimately, led to putting power back in the hands of the shareholders."

Just a couple of thoughts.



B*Mann
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No. of Recommendations: 5
Nice quotes, guys. Let's keep 'em coming. My original idea was for concise quotes with a narrow focus, but I can see now there is plenty of room for well constructed arguments and unique agendas.

We can tailor a special message toward the Mac-centric media. I've been strongly tempted to send the Amazing Coincidence Indicator post to As the Apple Turns because I think it is exactly the sort of thing they'd find amusing and want to publicize. I've held off, however, because I think it is too hostile at this point where I'm still hoping to negotiate constructively with Apple.


Bob had a couple of good quotes that would play well to Mac fans, probably better than my own suggestion:

"Apple shareholders in general are especially good at detecting lies and avoiding deception. We tend to be Mac users, after all, and not Windows users."


Humor goes a long way in the Mac community, especially anti-windows humor.


Rodg.
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No. of Recommendations: 5
My original idea was for concise quotes with a narrow focus, ... -- RR

Well now, Rodger, if you want to call me "wordy" just do so. P-)

Speaking as a former member of the meedja, I can safely tell you that we (they) want more than the one sentence answer, especially those that look to be "canned." That's while you'll see press releases verbatim in only the lowest quality publications ...

I also think you should have some quotes prepared that have a little more cayenne pepper in them. Like it or not, snappy quotes that are a bit aggressive get a lot of play. These are for "just in case."

You are Foolish in your endeavor to tailor quotes for different sections of the media. You're probably the best source for quotes to the financial focused media, while others may be better suited for Mac-centric outlets and still others for more mainstream media.

B*Mann
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No. of Recommendations: 13
You are Foolish in your endeavor to tailor quotes for different sections of the media. You're probably the best source for quotes to the financial focused media, while others may be better suited for Mac-centric outlets and still others for more mainstream media.

B*Mann
-----------------

for phil donahue
"striking fear into the hearts of corporate boards from silicon valley, to new york city,
these self-described 'foolish investors' are watching out for your pocketbook and shaking up the status quo... and they haven't even met, except on the internet. it's a brave new world, and these folks are changing things."

for barbara walters
"what wodger garfinkle and his, as he calls them, 'board members' are doing is the vewy thing that the S.E.C. has been welucktant to do in the midst of this cwisis, impose a change in business operwations that favor the small investor."

][
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