Microsoft to revamp image and increase focus on corporate social responsibility

REDMOND, WA - Microsoft has signaled its intent to rebuild its image from the inside, putting a much stronger focus on corporate social responsibility.

REDMOND, WA - Microsoft has signaled its intent to rebuild its image from the inside, putting a much stronger focus on corporate social responsibility.

The company told its 50,000 employees in an internal memo from CEO Steve Ballmer earlier this month that, for the first time, its mission is more than merely creating and improving technology.

The Ballmer memo tells staff, "Our mission is not just about building a great technology; it's also about who we are as a company and as individuals, how we manage our business internally, and how we think about and work with partners and customers."

Microsoft PR director Mark Murray said all elements of Microsoft's ongoing PR activities could get involved, "whether it's our PR partners, internally, or our agencies, Edelman, Waggener Edstrom, or Sandler."

Microsoft has been beset by its image as a greedy, corporate megalith, highlighted by the drawn-out antitrust case. Mark Anderson, an industry analyst who has consulted with Microsoft in the past, said, "[This] is an effort to rebrand the company. After two years as CEO, Steve understands what the problems really are, both externally and internally, and is making a concerted effort to address these issues. But to rebrand Microsoft globally -- if it can be done -- is a five- to 10-year job."

Despite Murray's hesitancy on the subject, Anderson also believes that the plan will involve a major change in the company's PR efforts.

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