Microsoft: The Dangers of Online Presence

This week Microsoft had a minor PR scuffle when one of it’s creative directors, Adam Orth, dropped a twitter bomb about “always on” DRM this spark a minor debate with BioWare employee Manheer Heir.

mircosoft

Microsoft’s public relations department responded almost immediately with this statement:

“We apologize for the inappropriate comments made by an employee on Twitter yesterday. This person is not a spokesperson for Microsoft, and his personal views do not reflect the customer centric approach we take to our products or how we would communicate directly with our loyal consumers. We are very sorry if this offended anyone, however we have not made any announcements about our product roadmap, and have no further comment on this matter.”

This a perfect of how to quickly put out a potential fire, but it does bring up a very significant PR dilemma, in a world where anybody can post their own opinion about company policies publicly and globally, how can these unintended messages affect the image if the company? Should there be guidelines and polices in place to keep employees from becoming unintended and uncontrolled spokespersons for the companies they work for? What should the consequences if someone crosses those lines?

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