Challenge: Microsoft wanted to define its “next-generation” goals for corporate citizenship, while bringing clearer focus, branding and impact to its large portfolio of programs. It also wanted to strengthen the alignment between those programs and the company’s business growth strategy.

Approach: After conducting market research, peer and best practice analysis, and interviews with Microsoft’s most senior executives, APCO concluded that both the Citizenship and Emerging Markets teams were focused on the same social outcomes: equipping people with technology and tools to improve their lives. This realization yielded an overarching initiative, branded “Microsoft Unlimited Potential (UP),” to bring technology to the next billion underserved people worldwide by 2015.

Results: Bill Gates unveiled Microsoft Unlimited Potential, and it was heralded as a pioneering integration of business and corporate citizenship. APCO continues to advise Microsoft and support on a range of global communications and policy issues.  

Results At A Glance: 

  • UP successfully aligned Microsoft’s citizenship programs with its business growth strategy
  • UP was heralded as a pioneering corporate citizenship program
  • Microsoft succeeded in reaching 250 million teachers and students across 115 countries in the 10 year span of this program
  • Microsoft expanded its help for small business, reaching more than 70,000 people annually