Guardian and Microsoft in website deal

Mediaguardian.co.uk is to link up with Microsoft to create a microsite targeting the marketing community and allowing marketers to talk to experts in real time.

The site, called The Pressures of Marketing, launches this week and runs for ten weeks. Microsoft will use it to promote its Microsoft Office products, including the Live Meeting online conferencing facility.

The deal was arranged by Microsoft’s media buying agency, Universal McCann Interactive.

A range of features, covering topics including e-marketing strategies, tele-working, presentation skills and “brainstorming”, will appear on the microsite, while there will also be links to relevant archived content on the Guardian Unlimited website.

Live Meeting will be used to host online seminars and masterclasses on various topics. The first will be an hour-long session on presentation skills. Anyone who pre-registers for the classes will be able to view the session and ask questions in real time.

The microsite will also feature a series of polls on marketing topics, with results posted on the site.

Microsoft group communications manager Andrew Warner says the microsite offers “a really fresh, innovative way for us to target a really specific market”.

Universal McCann Interactive account manager Alan King says the real benefit the deal offers is the ability to have potential buyers trying out the product: “We can actually put it into their hands.”

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