Dennis Culloton, President and C.E.O.
Many accounts handled by a public relations firm are crisis calls. However, that is only half of what public relations can be. The other half consists of proactive PR. Often, an individual or a business will hire Culloton Strategies to build an image, generate buzz, help to get a deal done, maneuver through a new process, and ultimately bring success to a client.
Google Glass is a case study in proactive PR. “Augmented reality technology” worn over the eyes like glasses may seem like something out of a Vonnegut short story, but Google has made such a whimsical idea a reality in the form of Google Glass, an invention that promises to perform the functions of a smart phone. Rather than its functionality, I am most interested in the product’s successful promotion.
Using social media, Google publicized their “moonshot” product by making people wonder about the possibilities of the Google Glass. As a result, Taylor Hatmaker, a tech blogger for ReadWrite.com, wrote in an article entitled “Google Glass: What Do You Want To Know About Google’s Internet Eyewear” that wearing Google Glass around downtown Portland is like carrying around a puppy; people clamor around the wearer because they are so enthralled by the technology.
Google Glass is not widely advertised on TV or in traditional media. Even a YouTube search turns up only a couple official advertisements. A large part of the public interest in the product stems from wanting to know if and how it actually works. To many, it would seem that such an invention is closer to science fiction than reality. Observers, like a character portrayed by Fred Armisen in an appearance on Saturday Night Live, are wary of Google Glass, fearing that it is an ineffective, untested gizmo that should’ve remained a sci-fi moonshot.
However, these questions about the efficacy of the product serve Google in the end. The adage that “no publicity is bad publicity” comes to mind. Google has created interest in its product without paying for widespread advertisement by using the media to its advantage as doubters anxiously await the product’s release and optimists explore the possibilities that Glass might create. Fortunately for Google, technology bloggers like Hatmaker say that the special preview models of Google Glass work.
This excitement generated by Google’s PR team about Glass is one powerful move in the ongoing chess match between Google and Apple as they battle for smart technology supremacy. The success of Google Glass could be a victory that would put Google ahead in the game- for now.