This post is part of our PRSSA 2012 National Conference series, where members of our Executive Board will be sharing tips from various breakout sessions.
Attendees of the PRSSA National Conference ceaselessly tweeted with the #PRSSANC hashtag, and checked in all over San Francisco on foursquare. Despite the tech savvy crowd, keynote speaker and Google Senior Developer Advocate, Timothy Jordan, managed to astound the audience as he stated that for every person born, three smartphones are activated.
Welcome to the digital age. The reach of social media continues to grow exponentially, connecting the world and sharing experiences with a tap of an iPhone screen. The growth of online communication creates an invaluable ground for brands to reinforce their image and effectively reach their audiences, and also serves as a forum for personal expression. Jordan emphasized the exclusive abilities of Google+ to best maintain relationships across all your connections.
Through Google+ Circles, connections are organized into specific groups of your choosing. With this unique feature, you can send messages and updates to a particular group of people to ensure that your content is always relevant. Google+ hangouts provide a meeting ground for friends through video chats, enabling up to ten people on a single video call.
These features are not just for the individual; brands also capitalize on the ability to become more personable with audiences through Google+. The White House caught on to the trend by hosting a live Google+ hangout with President Obama, allowing him to directly connect with the citizens he represents. Photographer John Butterill also used a Google+ hangout to carry his audience with him on excursions, allowing those unable to travel the world to see it through his virtual lens. Both of these examples prove the ability for social media to connect unlikely people, but more importantly, to enable storytelling.
Each PRSSA member at the conference became a storyteller in their own right by sharing their experiences on various online platforms. The ability to instantly connect a group of strangers epitomized the more unified and social world that Jordan showcased, and rightly set the stage for the rest of the conference.