This post was originally published on Richard Edelman’s blog, 6 A.M.
This week I met with Bradley Horowitz, who is now in charge of Google+, in addition to his work on Google News and other brands. Google+ is trying to differentiate on the basis of integrating social with search. As noted in a recent Fast Company article, Google+ allows you to share privately.
I was impressed by Google+ Hangouts as a public relations innovation. Horowitz sent a note to his circle (a huge number of pals) and within a minute, had organized a discussion with seven people spanning from Australia to Northern Michigan. The notification for this video chat goes into the Google+ feed and you switch immediately into a brainstorm or other.
Horowitz said that the optimal length of time for a Hangout is about 20 minutes. He suggested that the customer support function is a natural; Michael Dell dropped into a Google+ Hangout the other day for his company. Yesterday in Brazil, a hundred sports and entertainment figures did Hangouts, with large numbers of global participants. And this week the New York Times hosted a hangout with Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the UN. It was promoted on the paper’s home page (image at bottom).
He added that the brand work is still exploratory. He showed me brand pages on Google+ put up by Burberry (seemed mostly to be photos and one or two videos) and Cadbury (again photos, not so much chat, one video). He noted that there is also a hangout for chefs that may show a way forward.
A few journalists are taking the platform on air. Sarah Hill, who is a TV personality at KOMU-TV and a professor at University of Missouri Journalism School, is the best example of how to work across the media cloverleaf. This moves a journalist from local market to global.
I asked him about crisis management. We agreed this is opportune for a CEO only if agile on air and accustomed to the give and take approach witnessed in the question period in Parliament in London.
Politicians are already using Google+ Hangouts. Horowitz showed me a hysterical short video of a young female Republican challenging President Obama to show off his dance moves…which he politely declined.
Image Credit: Zack D. Smith