Google+ Hangouts Gets Presidential Seal of Approval

Despite a few sound glitches at the beginning of the broadcast, President Obama's Jan. 30 Google+ appearance went off smoothly, marking the the first time a sitting president (and he was sitting) participated in a Google+ Hangout.

Five Americans who had submitted questions in advance of the Hangout (reportedly more than 135,000 were submitted) were chosen to be on the broadcast with the president to ask those questions. And despite the high tech nature of the event, there were some touching exchanges, as relayed by, between Obama and his new friends that made the Hangout more personal.

Google had to have been satisfied with the event, as it showcased its rapidly growing social platform and the Hangouts video chat feature. In fact, post-event online chatter has some people wondering if the event was more an advertisement for Google (and for the Obama reelection campaign) rather than an informative talk with the public.

Yet the ability to quickly round up a group of influencers and have a video dialogue was ably demonstrated by yesterday's event, so PR pros who have so far ignored or been hesitant to use Google+ have one more notable reason to take the plunge.

Follow Scott Van Camp: @svancamp01

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About Scott Van Camp

Scott Van Camp is editor of PR News, an executive-level, reader-supported publication that helps enhance the business impact of PR. Scott has a rich background in both journalism and PR/marketing. He has more than 15 years of experience as a writer/editor at various consumer and trade publications. Scott was with VNU Business Publications for five years, including stints as managing editor at IQ News and Technology Marketing magazines and senior editor at Brandweek. In the PR/marketing sphere, he has served as corporate communications manager at MarketBridge, a marketing and sales consultancy, and as editorial director for the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council. While at the Council, Scott led several high-profile marketing research projects. He has also operated his own communications and media consulting firm, SVC Communications.

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