The way it works is that a senior exec will come in and say, "We need to release this specific information. John, do you have a trusted friend at a major outlet? If so, call him/her and have a conversation. Idly mention this information and suggest that if it were published, that would be nice. No e-mails!" The communication is always done in person or on the phone. Never via e-mail. That's so that if there's ever any dispute about what transpired, there's no paper trail to contradict either par[...]

via How Apple Does Controlled Leaks | Analysis | The Mac Observer