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Microsoft and cool: so close yet so far :)


The cover story in the upcoming issue of Wired focuses on corporate transparency:  Get Naked and Rule the World ... a topic I'm obviously passionate about.  I'm waiting for my hard copy to arrive in the mail, but I did check out the case study on Microsoft by Fred Vogelstein, my favorite Wired writer (who also wrote an interesting piece about Yahoo! a few issues ago.)  (Disclosure:  Fred interviewed me for the article but my material didn't make the cut - but it was fun nonetheless.)

Anyway, I love the end of the article, in which Fred reveals that a Microsoft employee inadvertently emailed him PR's file on him, Wired, and Microsoft's talking points surrounding efforts like Channel 9 and On10.  Love it.  So classic Microsoft.  Cringe, cringe, sigh.

But its efforts to be transparent go only so far. Someone at Microsoft unintentionally emailed me the confidential dossier the company keeps on reporters writing stories about it (presumably a common practice among big corporations). My file ran to 5,500 words and included all the angles I had been pursuing (along with suggested responses to my questions), the people outside the company they thought I had talked to, detailed background on Wired and how it has covered Microsoft, and notes on me and my interviewing style. "We need to reinforce with Fred that these efforts [Channels 9 and 10] are a natural extension of the company's DNA," the file reads. "Microsoft has been using a wide variety of communications mechanisms to reach out to developers since the days of yore. This is simply the latest manifestation of those efforts." The irony is thick. While working with me on a story about its newfound openness, Microsoft and its PR agency were furiously scurrying behind the scenes to control the message. One thing about transparency is clear: It's harder than it looks.

So close, yet so far. :)


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Published Monday, March 26, 2007 3:10 PM by jobgals
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scooblog by josh ledgard said:

Source: The JobSyntax Blog : Microsoft and cool: so close yet so far :) Anyway, I love the end of the
March 26, 2007 7:30 PM
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