Hanging out with Google: our learnings

#PRLife was an exciting week as a whole, where we (Megan McGonigle and Sophie Smith, two senior account executives at Brazen) challenged ourselves to survive solely on our clients’ products. This saw us eating, drinking, sleeping in and washing in the lovely samples that our great clients give to us.

On the Friday, with a wonderful weekend of #PRLife in the office and out at client sites ahead of us, we decided to host a Google Hangout with our friend Jorgie Porter, in which we gathered around one computer, answering questions posed to use by Dianne Borne of the Manchester Evening News, which had been collected via the @citizenofbrazen Twitter feed.

We love digital marketing here at Brazen and, where relevant, we strive to incorporate this into our client strategies, such is the necessity of online exposure and social media as part of the PR and content marketing mix. That said, the Google Hangout set up was new to us and we entered the live chat with a needless degree of trepidation. Why needless? Well, because it all went so well. Some might say that it’s because we’re naturals in front of the camera (and Jorgie certainly is)—whilst others may say that Google’s technology is just so slick that even a wooden puppet would appear animated in a Google Hangout.

We think that it’s a combination of both. So, whilst we sit here and pat ourselves and Google on the proverbial back, here’s our quick guide to running a Google Hangout:

Google Hangouts do require some preparation beforehand to ensure smooth running

Ensure that all participants have a Google login that they can use

Ensure that all participants are equipped with a webcam and a microphone (more often than not, these are integrated into computers, tablets and laptops, but it’s worth checking)

Turn off all mobiles and other portable devices in proximity of your computer during the Google Hangout, since interference noise is quite easily amplified

Google Hangouts do take up a lot of bandwidth, so wherever possible, ensure that your device is connected to the Internet via an ethernet cable rather than via wifi

It is possible to install what is known as the Google Toolbox, which will enable you to do nifty thing such as uploading an overlay with your name and other details (e.g. you Twitter handle) to your screen, so that your audience know how best to identify with and contact you

If the above floats your boat, you’ll need to factor in resource and time to generate the appropriate PSD or PNG files for what is knows as the “lower third” (i.e. of the screen)

Don’t forget to PR the Google Hangout on your other social channels beforehand

Collect questions or topics for discussion, to ensure that your time on air is full of genuinely great discussion and content

Once the Google Hangout is complete, upload the recording to your YouTube channel

This will ensure that your great video content is forever viewable to those who may not have been able to make the Google Hangout or who may wish to refer back to some of the discussion

Finally: relax, smile, be yourself and laugh at any minor twists of the tongue that occur on air—which all form part of the charm of a live Google Hangout

Good luck with your Google Hangouts. We’re most certainly looking forward to doing some more on behalf of Brazen and using them as a key tool in reinforcing brand awareness for our clients. In the meantime, you can head over to www.brazenpr.com/live to see the video. Enjoy!

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