Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

UPDATED: GOOG Doubling its PR Crew--PR and Press Needn't Apply

Posted by Tom Foremski - June 14, 2007

[UPDATED: Google says that 25 new people are joing this month and that they have plenty of PR professionals on their staff, with many years of experience.]

When I was over at Google late last month, I caught up with corporate comms bosses David Krane and Brian O'Shaughnessy. They told me that their staffs were being doubled in June with about 50 new people joining their teams.

I asked how many of those new people were from the PR industry. I was told none. How many of those new people were former journalists, again I was told none. They are all new hires straight out of the top schools in the US.

There is only one person on the Google communications team that was once a journalist, and only for a very short time. There are very few people, about 5 or 6 recruited directly from the PR industry.

This is the policy of Elliot Schrage, head of corporate communications.

I can understand that it is often worthwhile to hire people that have not been taught how to do things because then you can teach them your ways of doing things.

But there should be more media professionals on the GOOG team, imho.

UPDATE #2 (Aug 18 2007- I didn't notice that Google had sent me an email shortly after publishing this post, asking for further corrections - here they are. BTW the comments section is a quick way to post corrections because my Gmail inbox gets incredibly crowded. )

From GOOG:

I believed when we spoke I explained that the team was getting roughly 30 new college graduates (the number is actually closer to 25 - as you have corrected- thank you) However they are joining Google over the next few quarters - not "next month". While I will concede that these recent college graduates are not media professionals - these are entry level PR positions and these are incredibly impressive young people that believe in Google's mission and want a chance to make their mark in Mountain View or in our offices in New York or DC or even on the YouTube comms team.

And as I noted earlier they are joining an incredibly seasoned team of PR professionals - in fact, the Directors on the team have an average of twelve plus years experience in agency, corporate and technology PR and journalism experience. These are communications professionals that have joined from such PR teams from Cisco, Microsoft, Gap, and VeriSign.

The bulk of their direct reports have joined from the a variety of fields including media and politics - however the vast majority come with solid communications experience (either in house or on the agency-side). Google is very proud of the team assembled (and continues to look for new additions) --- and we are also very excited about the opportunities that lay ahead and to not correct the record is a disservice to their experience.

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