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.


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Boston's Mower office is a full-service technology marketing, PR and branding agency. Our B2B stories illustrate projects and campaigns in a variety of markets and media that range from local impact in Boston and New England to global proportions.

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