If any of you read No. 7 in my Top 10 PR Rants of 2011, you’ll know that I’m struggling with the relevance of Google+ to PR folks. However, with the news this week that membership on Google+ is growing at an impressive rate, I’m stepping up my Google+ coverage in PR News. On that end, we’re working on a story for the Jan. 9 issue that looks at specific Google+ brand pages, with insights and best practices from page administrators. For the 10,000-foot view, I spoke with Jonathan Kopp, partner & global director at Ketchum Digital, who says that while Google+ is still nascent, it has moved into the position of a best practice. And why shouldn’t it be a best practice? “If brand is syndicating across platforms, adding one more to the mix is not onerous,” says Kopp. “If you’d be doubling your social media resources, that would be one thing. But adding one platform is a no-brainer.”
While the numbers of people are still small compared to Facebook, Kopp says the upsides are obvious and the cost of entry minimal. Just what are a few upsides? Search relevance and rank, for one; and two, the linkages created across properties and profiles through Google+ makes it a frictionless platform. “It greases the skids for distribution,” says Kopp. But it’s still too early to tell how prominent a platform Google+ will become. However, you’ll be able to get additional insights at our Digital PR Summit on Feb. 16 in San Francisco, where PepsiCo’s Joshua Nafman will fill you in on their Google+ effort, complete with tips on building your own Google+ community. Perhaps after Joshua’s presentation, I’ll be sold on Google+.
–Scott Van Camp