Microsoft goes into action on in-house PR

Following journalists’ criticism of its press relations service, Microsoft is seeking non-PR professionals to man an in-house UK press office to launch early next year.

Following journalists’ criticism of its press relations service,

Microsoft is seeking non-PR professionals to man an in-house UK press

office to launch early next year.



The move is a joint initiative developed by Microsoft together with its

long-standing agency August.One Communications. The new set-up, which is

costing a ’significant six-figure sum’, will consist of spokespeople

empowered to talk on the record rather than press officers chasing

comments from senior figures.



Katie Kemp, president of August.One, said: ’We are looking at people

from a variety of backgrounds, PR experience is not a prerequisite, only

that they are articulate and can talk strategy.’



The press office will move from August.One to Microsoft’s UK head office

in Reading. The office will consist of a team of six headed by

Microsoft’s in-house PR business manager David Gregory. The remainder of

the team will consist of specialist spokespeople for corporate, consumer

and products as well as an on-line press officer and a co-ordinator.



With the exception of Gregory everyone else will be an August.One

employee contracted to Microsoft. Gregory reports to Microsoft group PR

manager Karen Bergin.



The old Microsoft press office was headed by August. One associate

director Ginni Arnold who will continue to work on other parts of the

Microsoft account. August.One manages consumer and corporate accounts

for Microsoft.



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