Empowering U.S.

Communicating Microsoft's impact in the public sector to deepen relationships with strategic audiences.


For more than four decades, Microsoft has been a trusted partner in helping address America’s top priorities as a nation. Its technology, innovation, programs, and partners are continuously working to help to solve America’s greatest challenges in education, job creation, and public safety.

Microsoft’s solutions have become so ubiquitous, however, that we often forget they’re all around us. To strengthen working relationships in government for continued impact, and to support business objectives, it was important that Microsoft’s social role was presented to related audiences in the context of public sector impact:

  • Washington, D.C./Silicon Valley tech elites
  • Elected officials and senior staff (national/local)
  • Influencers (media, think tanks, academics, etc.)
  • ITDM/BDM (public sector and commercial EPG)
  • Sales—EPG (PS and commercial), services, marketing (E&I, MS stores, PR, AR and LCA, TCE, USGA)


Deliver a One Microsoft Campaign with messaging aligned with national priorities that reach non traditional, strategic audiences, and influencers across various touchpoints, while enabling and inspiring field representatives to communicate the message in each engagement.

The work

The SMITH team quickly realized that one of the critical barriers faced by Microsoft was the lack of a cohesive communication platform related to this work. Leveraging significant amounts of research with Microsoft’s stakeholders in the public sector, we streamlined the wide array of areas of impact into three key concepts that were universally felt to be the most critical:

  • Education
  • Job Creation
  • Public Safety

This provided a framework to start differentiating Microsoft's social and economic commitments through a new narrative. Inspired by Microsoft’s newly launched One Campaign and the tagline “Empowering Us All,” the team adapted the primary campaign with a public sector spin in “Empowering U.S.”

With creative anchored around the American flag and the faces of the everyday people who power the nation, SMITH then set to work in mapping out a communication campaign that would tell stories of success around the three pillars using videos, infographics, and other engaging storytelling vehicles.

The campaign site collected stories that updated throughout the campaign, as display advertising, email, social, and Microsoft representatives spread the message across the nation.

Want to see the campaign in action? Click here.

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