Microsoft PR boss sweats in face of
Apollo Creed Apple, Google... world
'Be a thinker not a stinker'
Microsoft’s top flack has been physically and metaphorically running up hills in the last few days in an effort to find out what’s gone wrong at Redmond HQ.
The company’s Frank X Shaw penned a navel-gazing missive to staff, a full transcript of which was picked up by All Things Digital, late last week.
Microsoft’s comms boss also published a corporate blog post, containing some stirring numbers about the software vendor’s biz that some have argued don’t quite add up.
His public comments offer reasons why “2010 is shaping up as a huge year for” Microsoft. But behind closed doors, Shaw has been examining why perceptions about the company are effectively at an all-time low. And he’s trying to rouse the Redmond troops into action to help rid bad press from the firm’s doorstep.
“It has been a rough couple of weeks for us from a coverage standpoint. It seems like every time I turn on the computer, or talk to a reporter, or pick up a publication at home, or do a scan of my RSS feeds or Twitter client that I see more stories and opinions about the challenges we have, and how great some of our competitors are doing. iPad this, Droid that, sheesh,” he grumbled to Microsoft staff.
Shaw then went on a lengthy diatribe about jogging up hills and improving the lives of billions of people across the world with Microsoft’s products and services.
“Right now, we are massively over-indexed in thinking and knowing about our losses and challenges. But what of our wins?” he pondered, perhaps with the Rocky theme running through his marketer head.
Shaw is of course the go-to man when it comes to Microsoft protecting its somewhat dented brand. Even with the success of Windows 7 sales and genuine enthusiasm from web surfers for Bing, the company is hurt that the Google, Apple and even Salesforce.com competition is hotly pursuing - in some cases overtaking - its ragged tail.
At the same time, it doesn’t help Microsoft a jot that Shaw’s number crunching is, in places, questionable.
But even Shaw admits that it’s hard to create “any true believers” in the software maker’s current state of play in the tech market. He doesn’t think customers are getting the real message about the Microsoft brand and Shaw has urged staff to “tell their story” and help turn perceptions around.
“This is our job. We don’t just represent the products and services we work on, we represent the company all up. Be ready to tell that story. Tell it to your co-workers here at Microsoft, to your family and friends, to members of the media. They know about our challenges, they don’t know about our wins and momentum. So tell them,” he said.
We at Vulture Central feel that all this shows quite how far Microsoft has jumped the shark while running uphill and pitifully screaming for “ADRIAN!”... ®
I don't think any of us care about your "story", you horrible little marketing-turd.
Give us decent stuff and we'll be happy. So Microsoft does not have a Cult of Ballmer - surely that's a positive point?
You want better press? Then release Windows Phone 7 on time, rock solid and with _more_ features than you've been trying to sell. The Office web apps are good - push them. Win7 is good, roll with it. Make CE7 so good that we all end up wanting WinPads instead of iPads or droidPads.
Do something about Windows Live; it needs help. Kill "spaces" for a start. In fact, why don't you just buy Livejournal - "Windows Live Journal?" - .NET it and go with that?
Make certain the XBox redesign has no RROD issues, that would be good.
Throw your weight behind Mono and Moonlight - you want ubiquity? Then actively try for it.
And never, never try to lock us into an MS worldview ever again. Because that pisses us off.
In short, stick your marketing up your arse and produce something decent. That'll work for you.
Praising Microsoft's wins
Is there an app for that?
Once you've earned the title of "Bully" it is hard to get rid of it.
Even if a bigger bully comes along. The integration of IE into Windows to kill Netscape still sticks in this moderately old-timer's craw. And yes I recognize that Netscape was no more standards compliant than IE at the time. It's only one of the places where MS earned the title, others can quote their "favorites." But insisting Vista wasn't a turd pretty much blew the lid off whatever goodwill MS had left for most people. If they want to loose the title, they'll need to work even harder at losing it than they did at winning it, and it will probably take twice as long to boot.