This post was written by Nancy Lazarus, contributor to PRNewser.
Gabriel Stricker, Google’s Director of Global Communications and Public Affairs, gave a “Spin-free look inside the communications machine at Google” during PRSA’s Digital Impact conference in New York on Thursday.
He characterized Google as, “A company with an audacious mission to organize the world and to make information accessible.”
So how do they make their own company information accessible?
Google has several preferred communications platforms, though press releases are not among them, according to Stricker.
The company prefers blogs and other forms of social media and has used these channels for major launches and campaigns such as Google Chrome.
Their corporate-wide process involves launching and iterating. The company typically introduces new products quickly and then modifies them later as they receive customer feedback. Google often tests new products without prior notification, though as Stricker admitted, “It is not uncommon for our users to freak out.”
Stricker dismissed press releases as too stiff and stilted, and said “They are not the way that most readers want to consume information. If we never had to do another press release we’d celebrate.”
Instead, Google favors corporate blogs, and he outlined the dozens of blogs the company maintains, including the official blog, the public policy blog, the webmaster blog and individual product blogs.
He recognized that while blogs allow people to “get the voice that’s required for them,” he knows that it may be hard for one person or journalist to follow all of Google’s blogs.
He acknowledged another part of the difficulty could be, “Many of the blogs are authored by engineers and other non-communications professionals, who tend to bury the lede or explain things in highly technical terms.”
Stricker admitted that while Google was not an early adopter of Twitter, it has been “An interesting experiment on an amazing platform for dissemination and dialogue.” He said their first tweet, in early 2009, was delivered in binary code and translates as ‘I’m feeling lucky.’ Now they have more than 2.2 million Twitter followers.
In summarizing Google’s communications strategy to date, Stricker said simply, “…we have relied heavily on the product speaking for itself.”