Ever wonder how large companies and PR firms work together to manage reporters working on in-depth stories? Well, we now know what Microsoft does. Wired Magazine writer Fred Vogelstein was writing a story about Microsoft, and one day an odd item appeared in his inbox. Apparently, Microsoft and its outside PR firm, Waggener Edstrom, accidentally sent him a 5,500-word dossier that outlined how they were keeping tabs on him and also talked about what they did to try to influence his story. Microsoft and Waggener Edstrom apparently got to know Vogelstein pretty well. When Microsoft executives were preparing for their interviews with the reporter, their PR staff gave them this advice:
"It takes him a bit to get his point across so try to be patient."
You can read the PDF of the dossier here, and you can read Vogelstein's reaction to "being co-opted by their spin machine" here. What makes this case even more interesting is that Vogelstein was writing a story on Microsoft using the internet to become more transparent. Were the PR reps at Waggener Edstrom just doing their job? Read the reaction from its president here.