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 smile_wink

Duck and run, sorry guys.