Microsoft : Uncloudy story

A well-crafted and engagingly presented online ‘story’ sends an important message to customers and other audiences.

click to view

The feature

One of Microsoft’s ‘stories’ on its news microsite is ‘In the Cloud We Trust’. Written by Brad Smith, the US software giant’s chief legal officer, the extensive feature summarises the ‘key events that are shaping the global landscape for information security’ and uses them to explain Microsoft’s data and cloud ‘commitments’ to customers – security, privacy, following local laws and transparency.

The takeaway

One striking feature of the ‘story’ is that it runs to more than 3,000 words, an example of the ‘long form’ content that appears to be making a comeback on the web.

A long online story needs to be well edited, and this one is. The structure links wider company news (Microsoft executive arrested in Brazil) and global events (the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris) with Microsoft’s core business, without sounding like an empty public relations gesture: ‘These two extraordinary days in January are connected by an increasingly crucial issue in our world: information security.’ The tongue-in-cheek description of the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is particularly good.

Web design elements are also subtle and effective, from the interactive-wheel timeline to the spinning globe to illustrate security laws in different countries; and the moving cloud that surrounds the title.
First published 23 March, 2016
< Back to Tips