Microsoft PR programme revealed

Wired reporter Fred Vogelstein has an amusing story about how Microsoft’s US PR agency Waggener Edstrom sent its pre-interview briefing document (PDF) – to Fred instead of the Microsoft exec who was going to be interviewed. It’s standard practice to prepare this type of briefing for clients, we do it all the time, but not usually to send to the journalist.

Wired’s Chris Anderson thinks he’s been manipulated and Waggener Edstrom president Frank Shaw has a good explanation. And as a bonus Frank links to an older post on radical translucency.

Frank’s right a degree of transparency is a good thing, too much transparency can hide more than it reveals. Just imagine if a company board meeting or government cabinet meeting was transparent and public. Do you really think that would facilitate frank and open discussion that would be properly documented? Of course not, people would have secret pre-meetings where nothing was put on the record. Does that improve transparency? I think not.

Just remembered that if I want to build my US audience for this blog I should have said Microsoft PR program, because American’s can’t spell

Duck and run, sorry guys.

One Reply to “Microsoft PR programme revealed”

  1. Heather Yaxley PhD – Dr. Heather Yaxley, founder of Applause Consultancy and Greenbanana is passionate about sustainable careers, reflective practice and professional development. I am a rhizomatic consultant, educator, practitioner, historian, writer and scholar. As a qualified academic, I lead CIPR professional qualifications with PR Academy and have experience teaching at various Universities. Former director of the Motor Industry Public Affairs Assocation. Proud to have been awarded my PhD for innovative research into Career Strategies in Public Relations by Bournemouth University in 2017. I'm a published author, with several books, chapters and academic papers to my name - and many more to come.
    Heather Yaxley says:

    Interesting – it is surprising when supposedly intelligent people are "shocked" to see there is a process behind PR activities – which they assume is manipulative, but is just good business practice. Don't they prepare for any meetings, don't they keep records on their key contacts, don't they review previous stories?

    Also, I wonder whether any reports kept on journalists such as this are subject in UK to the data protection act and should be made available to the subjects on request.

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