Here at our PR agency, we’re big fans of Jeff Bullas. He’s a smart and funny guy. More often than not, one of us will come into the office talking about a social media tool, technique or strategy; and, like magic, we get the link to Jeff’s blog and he is talking about the same thing. It’s like he’s a mind reader – an incredibly smart, strategic mind reader. And he is funny, irreverent and not just a little cheeky. We LOVE him.

And so – it was no surprise to see that another one of our favourite sites has a piece by Jeff that has some pretty impressive stats and facts about Google+. I have to admit, at AHA we’ve been checking it out. We took a great webinar on it by Chris Brogan and we’ve been reading everything we can about it. It looks interesting – but right now, it is a bit of a ghost town.

For the most part, AHA clients aren’t early adopters of new technology or social media tools. Our clients could be called mid-adopters and some are mid-to-later adopters. Many of our clients want to know where their stakeholders are before adopting a social media tool or technology and that makes sense for them. And it’s our role to guide, assist and support them. We are a communications agency that understands social media – not a social media marketing firm. It is important for us to be on top of Google+ and I am finding it very interesting. It certainly provides a range of options that Facebook doesn’t offer. However, we’re still watching it. We’ll keep you posted.

And if you don’t follow Jeff Bullas, you really should. He’ll up your social media game.

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We didn’t have a blog post yesterday as we were preparing for a webinar about Google+, delivered by Chris Brogan (an AHA favourite). From all accounts, Chris spent a huge amount of time (reportedly upwards of 250 hours) going through Google+ and he shared his insights, tips and hints. We’re excited to bring these to life on our end and continue learning from thought leaders to help our clients with their Google+ objectives.

There are quite a few articles out right now about the battle between Google+ and Facebook. I have listed a few below for you to review. One of the best insights comes from Brogan – in this article on

His quote: “First off, if you’re immediately thinking, ‘The LAST thing I need is to figure out yet another social network,’ you’re totally right. This is the last thing you need. However, if you were fortunate enough to be a CMO back in 2007, and you said that about the transition from MySpace to Facebook, then you know what happened to people who didn’t surf the new wave instead of riding the one that petered out.” has an infographic comparison of Facebook and Google +. has an interesting piece: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. asks Is Google+, Is It For Business Or Just Consumers?

What do you think of Google + so far?

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There is always something new in the world of social media. Google+ is a new opportunity (or challenge, depending on your perspective) in this arena. At AHA, we are in the middle of checking out Google+ and what it will mean for our clients and for us, as a PR agency.

I was thrilled to come across this piece by Shel Holtz on the implications of Google+ for public relations and marketing. It’s definitely worth a read.

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TechCrunch has a very interesting article entitled “The Whining Sound You Hear Is The Death Wheeze Of Newspapers.” It’s well worth a read.

The article discusses how some large media organizations are accusing Google of “stealing” their copyrighted content. It also links to another TechCrunch post about the Associated Press declaring that it will now police the Web and “develop a system to track content distributed online to determine if it is being legally used.”

There is a huge challenge in trying to police the Internet and, while I am not a copyright expert, it seems to me that some of these large media conglomerates are spending an awful lot of time, energy and money on trying to control the Internet instead of focusing on creating a new, interactive and collaborative business model.

I read a lot of blogs, follow a lot of people (but not too many!) on Twitter, spend time on Facebook, use Google, and spend far too much time on Mashable. From my perspective, content creators online are quick to credit and to link to others – including media outlets. Doesn’t this drive traffic to the media sites? Isn’t that a good thing? And – according to the TechCrunch article – there is a way for these big media moguls to stop Google from listing their content and it’s just one line of programming. So why don’t they…because they WANT people to find the news and click that link. It seems like they want to have their cake and eat it too.

One of the few “grown ups” in journalism that I think really “gets it” and is investigating how journalism and the Internet can create a mutually beneficial relationship is Kirk LaPointe of The Vancouver Sun. His blog is also worth following.

I love journalism. I grew up at Maclean’s and I have a huge respect for how the mind of a journalist works. We, as a society, need journalists to ask the tough questions, to research and fact check, to make complex subjects more understandable to those of us who are not experts in the field, and to bring perspective and balance to an issue. In my opinion, journalists are an important part of the fabric of our society. It’s not the journalists doing this…it’s the big business that has been behind the media for all these years.

The Newspaper Association of America is meeting in San Diego this week and according to a blog post by Jeff Jarvis, author of What Would Google Do?, he says that Google CEO Eric Schmidt will speak to them.  That will be an interesting discussion.

This is an interesting time. I hope the business of the big media companies doesn’t get in the way of true journalism and that the big dog media conglomerates can find a way to see the value of the Internet, bloggers and Google and the fact that this wide open approach to information, sharing and a global conversation is a really good thing. And if they put half as much energy into finding a way to make money from it as they do trying to control it, their world would be much less stressful. 

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