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Microsoft: Helping People Rethink Their Relationship With Technology

Microsoft

According to Gartner, a leading technology research firm, 90 percent of IT spend will fall outside of IT departments by 2020, making it imperative for IT vendors to build new relationships with key business decision-making audiences outside of IT. In order to start a new conversation with non-technical audiences about how cloud, big data, social and mobile technologies can be harnessed for their benefit, Microsoft needed a narrative that could resonate across all levels of an organization.

To address this, Microsoft and Edelman developed “The Rise of the Humans,” a professionally published book about redefining our relationship with technology. The book shines a light on a cultural phenomenon known as “information overload,” an experience shared by many office workers globally today. The increasing availability of, and access to, multiple mobile devices and unlimited information has raised expectations on the volume of work employees can tackle at speed every day. Additionally, our own bad habits of “snacking” on news and data at every opportunity has contributed to many of us feeling overwhelmed. This “information overload,” according to research commissioned by Microsoft, is ultimately making workers less productive, depriving us from deeper thinking and encouraging us to take in data in meaningless ways.

Edelman worked closely with Microsoft to create the narrative for “The Rise of the Humans,” researching and contributing to each chapter and identifying third parties for academic insight. The team also collaborated with an academic publisher to see through the publishing of the book, which is now available on Amazon on both sides of the Atlantic and in bookstores across the UK. The book demonstrates why technology is not the problem. Instead, it’s how people use technology that needs to change. In fact, the book argues that technology should ultimately free us to be more productive.

To launch the book, Microsoft commissioned a piece of UK office worker research, which highlighted that many workers are suffering from the feeling of information overload every day. Key insights from the research included:

  • 43 percent of office workers surveyed online feel stressed and another 34 percent feel overwhelmed by the information overload they encounter at work.
  • Just under one third (31 percent) agreed that the amount of information they have to deal with at work has a negative impact on their job satisfaction, and over a quarter (28 percent) say it has a negative impact on their health and well being.
  • 58 percent said that they checked their mobile device within the first 15 minutes of their day, and 52 percent do so within 15 minutes of going to bed to check in on work.

Edelman developed the creative platform of “Infobesity” to capture the sentiment of the research insights (the fact that people are constantly overdosing on information, which leaves them feeling overwhelmed and stressed) and launched the content to UK and pan-European media. It was extremely well received, with coverage secured in many major publications, including  Bloomberg, BBC, Telegraph and Forbes.

Through “The Rise of the Humans,” Edelman helped Microsoft create a new dialogue with its expanded audience that focused on reconsidering how technology can help business address an “always on” work culture by exploring the potential of technology to harness the digital deluge.

The campaign has given Microsoft a platform to facilitate broader conversations around business transformation in the media, but it was much more than just the launch of a book. It also enabled the company’s sales and marketing functions to leverage a new narrative when working with business decision makers. In fact, the campaign has helped to generate a multi-million GBP pipeline of sales leads.

The campaign to-date has:

  • Generated 5,500-plus book sales/downloads.
  • Secured over 70 high-quality, in-depth articles in national print, broadcast and online media.
  • Generated over 64 million total impressions.

In addition, Microsoft’s Dave Coplin, chief envisioning officer and official author of “The Rise of the Humans,” has been regarded as an expert on the future of work and has been invited to speak at high-profile events, including parliament panel sessions, the Star Trek Convention and the Royal Society of Arts and Commerce.

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