This weekend I attended the 2012 PRSSA National Conference in San Francisco. The conference lasted from Friday to Tuesday and featured guest speakers and panels from many areas of the public relations industry.
Kicking off the conference, the Saturday key note speaker was Timothy Jordan, a senior developer advocate for Google. He works with publishers and media companies to help them get the most out Google+.
Timothy began by stating, “57 percent people talk more online than real life.” That is incredibly shocking. We spend more time talking online than in person. When did that happen? Because we are so dependent on the Internet for communication, it is essential to write naturally online, just as you would speak in real life.
Google+ is a great platform for maintaing relationships online. Timothy listed a few notable features he likes best about Google+:
- +Circles allow you to cater your conversation to specific groups of people. You can have groups for family members, classmates, colleagues, etc. With each message you post, you can focus on the specific audience who will get the most out of your message. For example, if I write something personal, I can share it with my friends or family. If I write something about Public Relations, I can share it with fellow PRSSA members or other students.
- +Hangouts are great for multi-person video conversations. Timothy demonstrated the impact of this feature with a video a photographer who used +Hangouts to share his photo walks with people all around the world. The video really showed the powerful impact of +Hangouts. I highly recommend watching the video. It made at least one exec board member cry!
- +Mobile is important because so many people depend on their smart phones for information.
- +You is great because it allows Google to cater your searches to you. For example, if you Google “Paris,” in addition to the standard results, you will also see results recommended by the people in your +Circles. If your friend went to Paris and tagged it in his photo, that photo will appear in your search results, personalizing the way you use Google.
After highlighting his favorites, Timothy discussed ways to utilize Google+ to make your brand relevant. Start by creating a Google+ page. Then link your page to your site and to your advertisements. Linking these pages to each other will improve your visibility in Google searches.
Timothy’s final thought: in all of your online messages, tell a story.
“Connect people with your brand. Connect people with each other,” he said.
Timothy was really interesting and a great start to a weekend full of speakers. Look out for more posts coming soon.