Summary: Seattle Times blows the whistle on Waggener Edstrom
Microsoft’s official PR Department, Waggener Edstrom, has just been criticised by a Web site that exposes malicious PR. Watch how Waggener Edstrom operates when it comes to issuing statements on behalf of companies:
But getting T-Mobile to talk about Mallahan is like pulling teeth. In response to a request to talk with CEO Robert Dotson and other executives this week, I got an email back from the PR firm Waggener Edstrom Worldwide that ended with a strange request.
Thank you for your phone call this afternoon and your patience while I looked into your request. While we won’t be able to provide you with an interview we are able to provide the following statement.
“We’re pleased that T-Mobile employees are engaged in public service and are participants in the democratic process. We respect Joe’s efforts to run for public office; he’s currently taking a leave of absence from the company during his campaign. Beyond that T-Mobile has no further comment.”
Please note that if you plan to use this statement in your piece, I am not a T-Mobile spokesperson and to use my name would be inaccurate. If you are required to include attribution please do so to a “T-Mobile Spokesperson”. Thank you and have a great weekend!
To be clear, the statement is from a “T-Mobile spokesperson,” but the spokesperson has no name, and saying that the spokesperson does have a name would be “inaccurate.”
When a “Microsoft spokesperson” is said to be quoted, the observation above ought to be recalled. As PR Watch puts it, “John Stauber, author of Toxic Sludge is Good for You: Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry, said farming out media inquiries to external PR firms is a strategy to ‘distance the company from uncomfortable questions.’”
We have seen this many times before and we shall certainly see it again in the future. █
“I have never, honestly, thrown a chair in my life.”
–Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO [CNET News]