Wired Editor Vogelstein receives Email about himself from Microsoft, exposing the company’s drive for good PR – TechShout.com: I wonder what John’s file says…

The software giant is involved in a rather embarrassing email slip-up, which revealed the tactics used by Microsoft’s PR machine to generate favorable media coverage. Fred Vogelstein, a contributor for ‘Wired’ magazine received a file that Microsoft and its outside public relations agency, Waggener Edstrom keeps on him.

the 5500-word memo contained detailed notes on how Microsoft should manage a story that Vogelstein was writing on the software giant, including details on his interviewing style and possible biases.

“There I was writing a story about how Microsoft is on the cutting edge of using the Internet to become more transparent, and there in front of me are the briefing documents they are using to manage the story,” he added.

However, even with the document in hand, Vogelstein had mixed feelings about it. “It also was strange to see just how many resources are aligned against me when I write a story about Microsoft,” he wrote in a blog posting on Tuesday.

If you would like to read the memo in question, you can find it here, while Fred Vogelstein’s blog comments on this matter can be found here.

  1. venom monger says:

    The only surprise here is that anybody is surprised.

    These guys are all professionals at the top of their game, and at the top of the food chain.

    It’s interesting for us little guys to get a peek into how the big guys play hardball, but the only question it leaves me with is whether the email containing the briefing/dossier was intentional. I’d be interested in hearing John’s opinion on THAT.

  2. Improbus says:

    Is anyone really surprised by this? You should trust any company as far as you can throw them.

  3. PMitchell says:

    his is an off topic comment but I cant find a contact addy

    I have tried to register with the blog( I have a story suggestion) but the email with my password never comes in. I am using an msn.com address through hotmail, is there a problem with hotmail accts kicking your mail or is there possibly something else keeping the password from getting through


  4. John Paradox says:

    Wasn’t it on TWiT, quite a few episodes back, that there was a mention of the ‘lists’ that M$ had listing who was ‘good’, ‘bad’ and, as I recall JCD was listed as ‘needs work’?

    Sorry… would give episode # if I had it… besides, I just woke up 3 hours early.


  5. Pmitchell says:

    Problem solved

  6. #3 — send me an email john@dvorak.org and I’ll look it over. I have no idea what the problem is since most people can easily register

  7. Mark Derail says:

    I like the way Frank, on Glass House, dismisses this as a non-serious issue – not a psych evaluation – but simple meeting notes.

    The fact that everyone is cross-linking each other. Everyone being polite about it.

    Lesson to be learned here. We’re all professionals, mistakes happen, and emails / posts are easily taken out of context.

    There is never a winner in flame wars, only losers. All parties involved get my humble respect.

  8. TJGeezer says:

    7 – What you said. People who understand professional behavior are always impressive. Especially in the “blogosphere.”

    I just saw an idiot blogger blast a PR guy for sending “spam” when all he really sent was information about some open source repository named Koders, after the blogger had mentioned the place. The PR guy used the “comments” box and obviously identified himself properly, and he was responding to a previous item, so what was the idiot blogger’s beef? You won’t believe it. The PR guy didn’t put “Dear Bill” in front of his comment. Sheesh.

    Then I come here – and find people admiring civil behavior by all parties in a case that seems like an actual PR goof. No artificial rage and arm flapping. Maybe everybody’s just too sensible here to admire stupid barroom fights. Never thought I’d say that about this crowd.


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