Community Building 101: The Acid Test Every Message, Blog Post, Tweet and Idea Must Pass

If you’re in business, you understand value. You ensure every action adds value to your business goals or bottom line. But do you evaluate your community-building initiatives as stringently?

Why social communities are important

Social communities can make or break your business. Whether you’re in B2B or B2C, there’s no better way to “cut through the clutter” than having a community of customers, prospects and influencers that has your back.

Social communities are valuable and can be your brand’s strongest advocates. They can also be a big driver for bringing in new customers. CrossFit and SoulCycle are both great example of using the social aspect of their brands to differentiate themselves in an otherwise crowded market.

But social communities don’t happen overnight.

First, choose the right audience for your specific cause or topic. This is where customer service is crucial, no matter the business or industry. This is the group that should remain at the center of all your marketing and community initiatives. Some quick, but important, questions to ask include:

  • Is the audience appropriate for your business?
  • Has your audience changed since you first started building a community?

Keep in mind that irrelevant, legacy audiences can be a source of blind headaches when they voice their disappointment in the way the company has changed. On the flip side, relevant legacy audiences can be your best friends – especially in times of trouble.

Once you’ve nailed down your audience, you’re ready to nurture your budding community with these four methods:

Listen

If you’re not engaged in social media listening, you’re missing out on tons of insights about the people who are actively talking about your industry and brand. Keep track of what the top influencers and prospects in your industry are reading and sharing. What hashtags are they using? What types of content are they sharing? What do their bios look like? What are their pain points?

Autonomy

While you want to control every aspect of the community-building efforts, you can’t. Control what you can and act responsibly, but know that at time you need to let your community develop organically. Allow your newfound audience to build its own momentum.

Engagement

Once you’ve kept an eye on the pulse of activity within the community, opportunities to engage will present themselves. Ask and answer questions, comment on their posts, like their activities, share their content and follow them back. Over time, they’ll notice your engagement and appreciate it – and they will likely return the favor.

Reward

People love rewards and they love validation of their actions. Go ahead and thank people for sharing your content. Invite them to company events and webinars. Use your social platforms to maximize brand loyalty by first engaging your social community. Let them be the first to know about your brand’s news, rewards programs and more. This creates an exclusivity that people naturally crave. In turn, you can make your social media platforms the place customers are encouraged to refer your business through different contents, recognition and more.

Great! Now What?

It’s easy to forget that your business is not the center of your customers’ universe. Their lives are filled with experiences, information, relationships and stories that have nothing to do with you.

To them, you are an occasional blip on a crowded radar screen — and if you can maintain some frequency to your blip and some relevance to the audience’s radar screen, you’ve done more than most.

Focus on how well you engage those you attract.

Maintain awareness of your audience and how you want it to change over time as you continue to engage your social community.

To do this, we believe every social initiative, down to each tweet, should pass a quick “acid test” to evaluate its strength.

The Community Acid Test Every Message, Blog Post, Tweet and Idea Must Pass

  • Do we believe it?
  • Will it interest at least 50 percent of our target audience members?
  • Will they believe it?
  • Does it in any way risk making an audience member feel disrespected?
  • Will they feel good passing it along?
  • Does it build on themes our audience has already discussed?
  • Do we mind if the audience runs with it?
  • Can it impact the company in any negative way?
  • Does it add value to our audience’s life?
  • Does it help advance our cause or mission?
  • Does it help audience members feel good about their relationship with us?
  • Does it help build positive bias towards our brand in some way?

Depending on the answers to these questions, teams can easily decide whether to move forward with a specific tactical initiative, such as a particular blog post or tweet.

For example, suppose you sell energy recovery ventilation (ERV) technology for HVAC systems. Over time, you’ve built a social community of salespeople, facilities managers, HVAC equipment suppliers and commercial real-estate owners. For these audiences, you can offer tremendous expertise about HVAC, ERV and a host of associated benefits and opinions. You can start discussions about technology, help your audiences understand the competitive landscape and trade-offs, and opine about a wealth of topics ranging from clean-energy installations to various energy efficiency strategies.

As you can imagine, such an acid test varies from industry to industry. Creating and using your own acid test to evaluate your social content will ensure that you add value to the all-important intersection of your organization and your audiences’ lives.

In return, the community will add value to your business for the long term.

Networking for Introverts: 7 Tips for Your Next Event

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Have you ever been uncomfortable in a room full of people? Do you revel in the thought of just reading a book by yourself on a Friday night after a long week? Do you get more accomplished alone than in a group?

You might be an introvert.

Introversion often gets confused with shyness, but being outgoing and introverted are not mutually exclusive. In the case of introversion and extroversion, we are talking about the amount of stimulation that recharges you. Susan Cain, author of the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, explains:

“Introverts…may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.”

Introverts are needed in every industry and marketing is no exception. As marketers, we need to listen to our clients’ challenges to make informed and customized suggestions. Great ideas don’t always come from a group brainstorm, sometimes they occur during a solo walk to the café or while you’re enjoying a dinner by yourself

One area where introversion presents challenges is networking. I confess: talking shop to strangers is usually the last thing I want to do after a long workday.

If you’re an introvert and find yourself anxious leading up to a networking event, here are a few tips:

Bring a friend
This helps get your feet wet. If you are really interested in a topic or hearing a speaker but dread the awkward “mingle” time full of small talk, bring your extroverted friend to start conversations.

Pump yourself up
You are awesome. Staying at home or hiding in the corner is not only stunting your growth, it is doing the world a disservice. Your voice is needed because you are the only one with your perspective and experience.

Find another introvert
One-third to one-half of the world’s population is introverted. That fraction decreases in social settings, but I guarantee you will still find one. Introduce yourself. It can be as simple as “Hi, my name is…” or “Hi, what brings you here?” Focusing on making one meaningful contact is less intimidating than trying to meet X number of people.

Choose an event that incorporates activities
Check the event description or contact the organizers to see how it is structured. During the Diversity in Tech event I attended two weeks ago, the facilitators from Resilient Coders instructed us to get into small groups for a variety of activities. After some individual work and small group discussion, we all heard from each of the groups. This balance of alone time and outward discussion allowed introverts and extroverts to have their voices heard. Jiaorui Jiang, a fellow introvert I met at the event, felt the same way.

“The fact that it’s called a ‘networking event’ is intimidating actually,” Jiang said. “I would much rather go to events that are talk or activity focused so at least I know whoever is attending and I have similar interests and have things to talk about. But if I don’t feel like networking, I would really appreciate a safe space where I can get some alone time and not being judged.”

Shut your phone off
This one is difficult, but important. We have become so addicted to our mobile inboxes, newsfeeds and texts that walking around with faces glued to screens has become the status quo. It’s too easy to hide behind your screen and avoid interaction. Turning your phone off is a good reminder and challenge to talk to the actual sentient humans around you.

Practice your elevator pitch
If your barrier to attendance IS talking about your work, practice. Ask a coworker to hear your two or three sentence speech about what your company does and your role in it. Then ask a friend to hear the refined version. Are you missing anything? What questions might come up for someone who has never heard of your company or position?

Be interested
Seek out the speakers or attendees on Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. See what common interests you have and come up with questions to ask. Find people volunteering at the event and ask about their organization. You can even come up with a blog topic related to the event and use it as an excuse to talk to people. Introduce yourself by saying, “Hi I’m writing a blog on XYZ, can I get your opinion on …”  That’s what I did!

Also, read Susan Cain’s book or listen to her TED talk.

How to Survive a Tradeshow on a Broken Foot

The sun was shining. There was a crisp bite in the air that signaled winter was soon approaching. I rounded the corner on Heath Street (riding my beautiful mint green 2016 Genuine Buddy Scooter), on a mission to get to a couple of media meetings, when suddenly… I flipped.

After a brief five seconds on the ground, facing oncoming traffic, the adrenaline kicked in. As people started to crowd around me and help move my scooter away from the Green Line train tracks, I jumped up.

Do we need to call the ambulance?!” one guy shouted at me.

No! Please don’t. I’m fine.” I said.

Luckily, my scooter was unscathed. I hopped back on and very carefully (at 5 mph) got myself to the media meetings and gave the reporters walking tours of two large hotels.

After a weekend of limping around, two x-rays and an MRI, I learned that I fractured four bones on the top of my foot and was sentenced to six weeks in an air cast.

Six. Weeks.

Stephanie Ross sits on her scooter at RSNAWhile the boot put a damper in my wardrobe, it also put a damper in my schedule. I had a tradeshow in Chicago in two weeks, and not just any tradeshow – the largest radiology meeting in the world, drawing 58,000 attendees annually. I was worried I was going to miss it. It was an opportunity to meet face-to-face with my Sweden-based client and a first experience for me with tradeshow media interviews.

I had to go. And where there’s a will… there’s a way.

My colleagues, client and family were reluctant to see me go. Trade shows are on-your-feet, exhibit hall-giant, evening event experiences. Still, I made my way to Chicago and spent three days with my crutches and my client. Was it tiring? Yes. But was it worth it? Absolutely.

Here are 5 tips for how to survive a tradeshow with a broken foot:

 1.     Triple check with your airline about special assistance.

Call your airline ahead of time requesting wheelchair service on both legs of your trip. Make sure they will have a wheelchair waiting for you at the gate when you arrive. Then, call again to make sure everything is set – wheelchairs, pre-boarding and arrival. Sometimes, they forget to enter it or there is some sort of miscommunication that forces you to not get pre-boarding and hobble alongside the inpatient passengers (I’m looking at you, American Airlines). Pro tip: remember to carry cash to tip the employees who wheel you around – it’s not an easy task.

2.     Rent a scooter or wheelchair

Ahead of your tradeshow or conference, check the website for accessibility services. Most of the time, these large venues allow you to rent a scooter so you can zoom around. The rental was $50/day and it was extremely worth it. I was able to scoot around the tradeshow floor to meet with different reporters and exhibitors (and I was never late, since the scooter was wicked fast).

3.     Wear a comfortable shoe

That’s right. Shoe – singular. You depend so much on your healthy leg when you have a broken foot, it’s important you wear a shoe that’s comfortable. Learn from my mistake: that cute black, Italian leather heel that you thought would even out your lopsided stance doesn’t.

4.     Identify spots for you to sit during slow booth time

Similar to locating the nearest emergency exit when boarding a plane, you should locate the nearest chair, bench, table or clean floor for you to sit. Tending to a booth at a trade show is tiresome – you’re on your feet for hours at a time. If the healthiest feet need rest, you better believe your broken foot will need some too.

5.     Use the boot to network

As I stood at my client’s booth, my foot and I were met with sympathetic glances that soon turned into friendly introductions. I can’t tell you how many times I had to answer the question: “how did it happen?” However, one of the positive outcomes was how many booth visitors we engaged with because of the ugly, gray boot.

Can you wear the boot again next year?” my client asked.

“Sure,” I said, “Maybe.”

(Disclaimer: I’ve been boot-free for 46 days and counting. The boot, however, was unable to introduce me to or attract potential boyfriends. Bummer.)

A Year Without Connecting

connecting

I like being known as a connector.

While it’s a term open to various definitions, I see it as that person who develops relationships that bring value to others in one’s network. And yes, sometimes it brings value to the connector directly – maybe it’s a piece of new business or a favor repaid. But that is incidental; those who connect solely for personal gain are merely takers, not givers.

For me, connecting is about being present, being available, being unselfish. It’s hard to maintain all those qualities, and I’ve known many for whom those are unattainable attributes.

The benefits have been wonderful.  I’ve connected clients with similar interests or opportunities to complement each other somehow. I’ve connected friends with groups where I feel they can offer value. I’ve connected colleagues to new opportunities. For a few years, I was even a Connector, a title bestowed upon a group of 200 or so Boston-area professionals as part of Boston World Partnerships, a networking group with a mission to “inform and connect.”

I love connecting.

But for the past year, I stopped connecting. No networking events. No searching LinkedIn to help find matched interests. No speaking or presenting. No creation of content to share with my network. Nothing.

I even played the least amount of basketball in the last 35 years. (Yes, I’ve made a lot of connections on the court.)

It wasn’t intentional, at least not at first. Connecting does not have an off/on switch. It comes naturally, or it doesn’t. It’s in your blood, part of your mojo.

Last year started with a heavy workload at the office, a lot happening at home, and a commitment to my position as chair of The Freedom Trail Foundation. Something had to give.

So first, I (mostly) cut out networking events. I was heads down, moving fast, getting stuff done at work, at home, for the Trail. It felt good to have free time, to know the end of the work day was not the start of the (net)working night. No early morning Chamber events. No late night mentoring activities. A relaxing summer, enjoying nights on my patio or weekends down the Cape.

And then, I started to feel the gap. Fall approached, and with it the usual parade of events and opportunities and activity that fill up one’s calendar. And still I stayed out, though it was getting harder.

And now, a new year. One in which I plan to connect again. Maybe not with the fervor with which I had participated, but finding opportunities high in value and that re-immerse me.

What did I learn, a year away from connecting? Well, that requires a list of course.

Seven Reasons to Keep Connecting

  • Free time is for later – Connectors fill their schedules; it’s their nature. When away from connecting, find an activity to fill your time. I did a few things: I caught up on some television series I had missed (Blacklist, House of Cards, Jessica Jones); I wrote a book of children’s poetry and actually plan to publish it; I coached 7th grade basketball. So I was busy but in different ways. But that sense of professional satisfaction that comes from connecting was still missing.
  • Nurture your network – Without feeding it, a network can wither. Just this week I got a nice LinkedIn endorsement from an old client and friend. It struck me that we’ve had lunch or breakfast three or four times a year for a decade, yet nothing in the past year. I miss that. Sometimes we just talked about kids, other times we helped each other with professional challenges. So stay ready, friend; I’ll be calling soon.
  • Become helpful to your fellow connectors – You hear things when you are plugged in. Maybe it’s a business opportunity for a client or a committee seat for a colleague. But you miss these opportunities when you are absent. Sometimes just being there is critical.
  • Experience the power of social interaction – When you connect with the right group of people, it’s fun. Socializing with a peer group is comforting and rewarding. Why do you think Norm kept going back to Cheers? Or I keep ending up having drinks with Chad O’Connor?
  • It helps to be known – Connecting is one of the greatest ways to raise the visibility of your organization. Being present at events important to you, your network and your business, generates awareness. And it spurs content creation, like this piece about spring break that I wrote after presenting at the first Master Slam.
  • Social media does not cut it – While I’ve by no means abandoned my network, I’ve kept up with it via social media for the most part – I’m pretty sure I’ve read every @HeyRatty tweet. We share Tweets, or post photos on Instagram and we know who our network is and what they are up to, but it does not match the benefit of having a physical presence. Social is fleeting; attending is meaningful.
  • Connecting is global – My agency’s participation in the IPREX network and my role as marketing chair keeps me focused on ways to help partners connect and engage online and off. I can only help make connections within the network better if I am in full connector mode myself.

So I’ll be there, at networking events, mentoring events, reconnecting with old clients, old friends, and will hopefully do it so it has value for my firm and my fellow connectors. See you out there.

Girl Geeking, Not Bra Burning

Last week my eyes were opened to a little world sustained by events called Girl Geek Dinners.

bostongirlgeekAt first, I was intrigued:

Girl? Why, yes.

Geek? On my good days.

Dinner? I eat.

So, I had to go.

The Boston chapter gathered for an evening sponsored by HubSpot and hosted by The Brahmin on Tuesday, December 3rd from 5:30pm-8:30pm EST. In true geek fashion, I arrived on time, or, socially speaking, too early.

Listen, I know we all love to hate networking. But my level of networking averseness extends beyond a phobia of small-talk with strangers. Put me in a room with my closest friends and tell me I have to talk about “what I’m doing right now” or “my interests” and I’m running to the nearest exit.

Which is why I was floored to find myself having actual, unfeigned fun at the Boston Girl Geek Dinner (BGGD). And sure, this may be the point, but lately I’ve attended some events (I won’t name them!) that failed miserably in accomplishing what it is they set out to do.

So why was last week’s BGGD a sold-out hit and why is the organization gaining speed? Well, after speaking to co-organizer Rachel Murray (Green Bee Web Consulting), it appears that it’s BGGD’s fluid (though contained) definition of its target audience and purpose that is making it a growing success.

Events often feel forced because people are told exactly who should attend and what they should be discussing/watching/doing. According to Murray, the target BGGD attendee is, “a woman who wants to interact with other women who love talking about anything from Game of Thrones to where they got their cute sweater.”

Boston and Cambridge are cities filled with new ideas, budding industries and motivated people. “There are networking groups that are focused on tech, those that are involved in startups, those that are tech startup focused, and women’s groups as well,” continued Murray over email. “We’re a bit more niche in that we’re not specifically ‘tech’ nor are we startup-focused, any self-identified female geek is welcome.” In other words, their niche is not having a niche.

I can vouch for this. During my two hours there I met a motley crew of women. One started a freelancing job that very morning. Another had just graduated. While yet others had their hands in multiple start-ups or were CEOs of their own ventures.

Murray put it well when she said, “It’s about bonding over commonalities first. If relationships form from that, then great.”

But all of this leaves me wondering: why does an organization have to be female-only in order to achieve these things? After some thought, I believe the answer may lie less in gender (or feminism) and more in the fact that BGGD has called upon something other than what people “do” to unite them.

“I think it’s important for women to have a safe environment where we can feel no judgment about anything we want to talk about… because it’s really about carving a personal space for us,” reflected Murray.

The “Girl” is what makes it personal; the “Geek” is what made it fun.

Now a global organization that began in London in 2005, Girl Geek Dinners began a Boston chapter in 2008. It started as a series of small dinners planned around Boston and Cambridge then faded away for a bit before picking back up again with an event this past June, sponsored by VMware.

With the help of event platforms such as Eventbrite, Connect and VentureFizz, BGGD has grown organically since June and more companies have reached out to sponsor and host events. A small ticket fee ($5) has been added to promote attendance. All proceeds go to Science Club for Girls, a local organization that helps to educate girls in STEM.

For more information on upcoming events or how to become a sponsor, please visit: http://www.bostongirlgeeks.com/

Speaking of Marketing

It’s been a little more than a month since I joined the HB team, and boy has it been busy! By the look of it, things won’t quiet down for a while, if ever. The combination of PR, social media and creative design talent that I see here at HB Agency has led to some great conversations — taking place inside our agency, with our clients and with the broader business world.

There are two upcoming public conversations that the HB team will be leading that I want to bring to your attention:

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Tomorrow, Mark O’Toole will be leading a discussion about the future of PR at FutureM. PR is not always on the checklist for today’s advanced marketing ecosystems. Why not? He’ll be joined by industry leaders both inside and outside of PR, including:

  • Brian Carr, VP of Marketing, Springpad
  • Christian Megliola, Director of Public Relations and Social Strategy, Connelly Partners
  • Tim Reeves, Principal, allen & gerritsen
  • Aarti Shah, Senior Editor, The Holmes Report
  • Anne Weiskopf, VP of Business Development, Digiday

There’s still time to sign up to attend. Hope to see you there!

Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 4.01.52 PM

On November 7th, I have the pleasure of being the emcee for the 8th Annual SNCR Awards Gala. The Gala follows the day-long SNCR Symposium, which will feature discussions on topics and speakers that include:

  • Social Business Trends – Vanessa DiMauro
  • Social Media Measurement Standards – Katie Paine
  • The State of Mobile Banking Adoption – Ingrid Sturgis
  • Social Media for Social Good: Health Justice CT Update & Case Study – Panel
  • and more

I hope you can join me for this great event, hosted by Thomson Reuters. Register for this event at http://bit.ly/1akZW1I. Use discount code SNCR25 to receive 25% off the event.

Be the first to hear the findings of the SNCR Fellows’ research on the latest trends in new communications. Join SNCR to celebrate the winners of the 2013 SNCR Excellence in New Communications Awards program, and hear the winning case studies from around the world.

Future Energy: Shark Tank for the environment

Last week my colleague and I had the pleasure of attending Future Energy, an event hosted by Ultra Light Startups at Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge.  Ultra Light Startups is a community focused on helping technology entrepreneurs establish and grow their businesses.future_energy_v2 (1)

Future Energy is a series of events in Boston, New York City and Silicon Valley that connect energy and cleantech startups with private investors. It’s similar to watching Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary on Shark Tank except the investors aren’t rude or flaunting their net worth in your face. And even better, the pitches are from companies with products that could have a positive impact on the environment. We’re not talking about baked goods, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches or jewelry lines as we often see on Shark Tank. At Future Energy, you’re privy to seeing future clean energy technologies that will change the world.

Here’s a brief recap of the startups we learned about, including the top three pitches voted on by attendees.

First place: Cerahelix – the helix-NFM is a ceramic nanofilter that reduces the cost of manufacturing by conserving energy and freshwater resources.

Second place: Raja Systems – offers reliable, low-cost isolated power systems that enable a 50-to-80 percent reduction in OPEX for off-grid hybrid power systems with no hardware added.

Third place: Culture Fuels – a technology developer with an advanced cultivation platform that enables large-scale production of algae for use in producing biofuels, aviation fuels, feed, protein and nutraceuticals.

Other Pitches:

Senergy – a crowd-funded investing platform that finances solar energy projects that instantly achieve stable, real-time grid parity for municipal customers.

Spilvenger – offers low-cost, highly efficient robots that have a self-sustained, accurate automated feedback system that feed on collected spilled oil overseas.

StannTron –developing a novel chemical conversion technology of selective removal of CO2 to make bio-products that will enable widespread adoption of renewable biomass to fulfill much of our chemical, transportation and energy needs.

WattJoule – offers a next-generation flow battery product platform that provides cost effective energy storage to a vast global market.

Zephyr Energy – offers a non-rotating wind energy generator with a low wind speed requirement, compact form factor, safe operation and simple, low-cost design.

Curious about the insightful advice the panel of investors shared with these awesome startups? We captured a few major takeaways from the event.

  1. Does your product/service meet your customers’ needs and address their pain points? You might have the coolest technology on the block, but that doesn’t mean consumers will buy it.
  2. Of course you need to know how to sell your product/service, but you must know who will sell it with you. Anticipating your future channel partners is essential for success.
  3. Hit the bar with your co-founders, have two drinks apiece and discuss what success looks like to each of you. This vision may differ and it is incredibly important to be on the same page with your fellow founders. Also important to note: have two drinks so you speak your mind but no more than two because you may not remember what success looks like the next day.

Have you heard any great advice for cleantech startups? Share your tips with us at @hb_agency.

Google Glass and PR Superpowers

"Super Boy" by Lunchbox Photography

“Super Boy” by Lunchbox Photography

I often lie awake at night thinking, “What one superpower would make us PR practitioners better at what we do?”

What if we could fly between a meeting in New York City to one in San Francisco in minutes, or even better, predict every single story a reporter was going to write?

Sure, these abilities would be fun, but let’s be realistic! Mainstream jetpacks are at least a few decades off, and who knows when we’ll get around to developing technology that perfectly predicts the future.

But Google is about to bring one PR superpower closer to a reality with the upcoming launch of Google Glass: The ability to gather information without taking our eyes off the person, object or scene right in front of us.

I know this doesn’t sound as sexy as flying or omniscience, but Google Glass could help turn PR pros into PR superheroes, or at the very least make us all a bit more effective at the one thing we do best: connecting.

Getting technology out of the way

In The Verge’s interview last month with Google Glass Product Director Steve Lee, Lee said something very interesting to Reporter Joshua Topolsky about why Glass is important:

“We wondered, what if we brought technology closer to your senses? Would that allow you to more quickly get information and connect with other people but do so in a way — with a design — that gets out of your way when you’re not interacting with technology?”

Working in tech PR, I interact with people at networking events, meetings or conferences on a daily basis. During almost any of these events the majority of people, including myself, are more often than not looking at our phones or computers instead of each other.

Theoretically, Glass will allow people to access information seamlessly while continuing to engage with our surroundings, and this ability could help PR people immensely.

What Glass means for PR practitioners

Full disclosure – we’re about to cross into Big Brotherish territory. There are a couple of ways I see Glass making us PR practitioners better at what we do:

First, Glass will be perfect for those situations when we want to take out our phones to take note of something, but the situation doesn’t allow for it. After all, how rude is it taking a photo during a packed presentation when getting out the phone requires shoving over the person sitting next to you? With Glass, we’ll never again miss taking a photo of a great slide, a video of a fascinating presentation, or a voice recording of a client interaction.

Having the ability to collect information more efficiently will certainly help PR pros, but the one thing I’m most looking forward to is instantly gathering information about the people I’m looking at.

Suppose I’m in a room and there is a reporter I really want to speak with, but embarrassingly I have no idea what the reporter has covered over the last month. I don’t want to waste five minutes searching through the reporter’s most recently articles on my phone – she might disappear before I even open to Safari! With Glass, I hope to look at the reporter and instantly see Google News summaries of the last five pieces she’s written while walking over to say hello.

Second, when talking to a prospective client, especially in a big room where the opportunity to talk is fleeting, PR peeps (and other savvy networkers) will benefit from a quick snapshot of the person’s LinkedIn to pop up on my Glass to give me a better idea of who I’m talking to.

We all know that the more information we have about someone, the more ways we might be able to connect with him or her in conversation. Glass could help us gather this information, and do so quickly and without the distraction of a phone or computer.

Glass is expected to ship by end of year, and I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more about this product in the coming months. With the right features, Glass could help PR pros capture information more efficiently while engaging journalists, prospective clients and anyone else we speak with more effectively.

At the very least, being an early Glass adopter will make for great conversation at tech conferences. I can’t wait to have mine on for the Boston New Tech Meetups this time next year.