Microsoft’s first PR director Pam Edstrom has passed away

Kit McDonald

One of the individuals who helped shape the way we see Microsoft today has passed away. Pam Edstrom (left), co-founder of Waggener Edstrom Communications, died at 71 earlier this week due to lung cancer.

Edstrom first joined Microsoft in 1982 as public relations director when it was still a small technology company. She was described as always being ahead of the trends and taking a personal approach to PR, a style she carried with her when helping co-found WE Communications in Bellevue.

New York Times technology reporter John Markoff was just one of many that knew her well. Her approach to working with the press resulted in the First Response team at WE Communications, a group of people directly involved with handling news and responding when events occur. “She was the architect, she created the image for Microsoft,” Markoff recalled to The Seattle Times.

WE Communications continues to handle significant portions of Microsoft’s communications in her stead, building on what Edstrom has contributed for hopefully years to come.