When Emily Wood graduated from Stanford in 2005 with a degree in English, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. She’s now a member of Google’s Global Communications and Public Affairs team and is happily blogging and tweeting away for the Official Google Blog (661,000 RSS subscribers) and @Google (2.18 million followers). I had the pleasure of meeting Emily at SXSW Interactive (that’s us in the photo, at Google’s SXSW booth). After chatting over a beer (well, we were at SXSW) I asked her to give me a few tips on what she’s learned about effective blogging and Twittering for one of the most visible companies on the planet. Here’s what I learned:
Like many others at Google, she is hugely busy doing a variety of things not captured in her job description, and thus can’t get all the content she’d like to up on the blog. Sound familiar? For example, she would like to post more profiles of Googlers working on cool stuff, as well as writing up the speakers (authors and techies) who regularly visit the Googleplex.
She is one of three Googlers who regularly contributes to the blog. The other two are Jordan Newman and veteran communications manager Karen Wickre. Full disclosure: I’ve gotten to know Karen quite well over the past four years, after I interviewed her for The Corporate Blogging Podcast. She’s one of those behind-the-scenes geniuses who is far too modest about her role managing Google’s dozens of blogs. Read a great interview with Karen by Edelman’s Steve Rubel.
Google editor Karen Wickre has a knack for finding words that “click into place” for Google’s official blog and Twitter stream.
As Emily put it, Karen has a knack for “crunching it down,” for finding just the right phraseology for a blog post or a tweet so that the words “click into place.”
Emily’s power Twitter tips are as follows:
– It’s not as easy to tweet as it looks (“It’s an interesting challenge to write in under 140 characters.”)
– She has learned a Twitter voice as well as a blog voice for Google (“We’re used to what Google sounds like.”)
– “You don’t want to be promotional. You want to be straightforward, helpful and fun.”
– In general, Google doesn’t delete things from the blog or from Twitter (unless it’s an incorrect link). Instead, a correction is posted.
– How to get more followers? “It helps that we’re Google.”
As to what it’s like working at Google, she beamed. It’s fast and rich, “a sensory overload” and an experience you “can’t get your arms around.”