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Should You Use Google+ Or 3D Technology In Your Campaign?

Timothy Jordan’s keynote to start yesterday’s day two of the PRSA Digital Impact Conference was basically a pitch to the room, explaining why Google+ is a must-have for any campaign that wants to interact with people.

Jordan, a developer advocate at Google, focused on hangouts and circles, data and apps, and Ripples, which sends your message out to groups and groups of groups. All to show that Google+ is a great way to reach people and keep them interested. He did this while repeating the phrase “I have nothing to announce” many times.

His suggestions included a new app that allows for video and other content during hangouts, a badge that brings the Google+ page into harmony with a company’s website, and use of the Google+ +1 button, which will help with search and personal recommendations.

He also gave a few strategy tips, like organizing surprise hangouts and organizing your circles to dictate your level of engagement. The latter was offered in response to a question about how an individual lacking time and/or motivation can keep up with who goes where on a personal account.

“With circles, you can dictate the level of engagement,” said Jordan, noting that “power users” will have a higher level of engagement.

It wasn’t until we got to the question and answer section when we finally got to the part where we find out how many people exactly one would be engaging with on Google+. According to Jordan, Google+ has 50 million active users and 90 million registered users. An active user is defined as someone who signs in and uses the site at least once per week.

“Not bad for just over a year,” said Jordan.

Earlier during his presentation in a bit of audience participation, he asked how many people had been in a hangout. “Wow. That’s not too many people,” he said after only a few hands went up.

And that’s the problem with Google+. The media has also noted the millions of registered users, but they’ve also mentioned that people are only spending three minutes per month on the site. With so many other digital platforms capturing people’s attention, Google+ has yet to carve out a niche for itself and explain why folks should add it to the long list of other sites they’re visiting every day.

We overheard some audience members expressing surprise and excitement about some of the features Jordan discussed. But, as PRs know, getting people to change their behavior is hard. Convincing people to add Google+ to their daily to-do list will continue to be a tough task.

Since we were offered a pair of 3D glasses for the next presentation, we decided to stick around and listen to Kathleen Dunleavy, senior comms manager for Sprint, talk about how they used a mixture of 3D video, media relations, employee interaction, and bubbles to launch the HTC EVO 3D phone.

The video below was the pivot for the whole campaign. The clip was shown to employees, who were encouraged to share it, aired in kiosks at the mall, was on their YouTube page, and played anywhere else where a screen was available. An interesting tidbit: Dunleavy said 63 percent of the video views were on a mobile device.

In terms of traditional outreach, Dunleavy said she worked with a number of national outlets, but she was particularly proud of the local coverage the campaign got, based on its use of local bubblers in the video. (The beagle dressed in the Sprint vest is also hers.) Dunleavy also emphasized the use of video for local outreach purposes (she called out a Domino’s franchise owner in Chicago as another example) and the use of forums to reach people who have a keen interest in a topic and are more likely spread the word.

Finally, we got to put on the glasses and watch the video. But my glasses didn’t really work. There was some jumping out of things, but not the full-on 3D experience of say Avatar (the only other thing I’ve seen in 3D). Which would be the big issue with 3D in a campaign. If it’s not top-notch, the reason for using it in the first place could be lost. Oh well, the video has bubbles and a cute dog.

(Separately, the new HTC EVO phone was just unveiled today.)

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