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An insiders perspective of a modern in-house communications department, with Google UK’s comms team

Welcome to the PRmoment Podcast.

Today we’re chatting with 3 of Google's communications team to give us an inside view of how a modern PR and communications team works.

On the show are Jo Ogunleye, B2B communications lead, UK, Julie Dilger, head of external communications, Google Ireland and Olivia O'Brien, senior associate, product communications, Google.

Just to say, time is now short but you can still purchase your tickets for The PRmoment Awards from the awards site PRmomentAwards.com

Thanks as ever to the PRmoment Podcast sponsors The PRCA.

I’d also encourage you to check out this week’s Good and Bad PR on PRmoment. As ever there’s a range of highlights and lowlights but one of my favourite stories this week was that Pepsi has rolled out a new visual brand identity but also revealed that it would include 57% less sugar.

This seemed to go down a storm across social channels - particularly in the US but also globally.

Exclusive analysis from Meltwater shows that the news exploded across social media resulting in 137k mentions and 1.03m engagements.

Do check out this week’s Good and Bad PR for more insight on that from Meltwater.

Here’s a summary of what Jo, Julie and Olivia and PRmoment founder Ben Smith discussed:

2 mins Jo, Julie and Olivia have very different job titles and here they each tell us a bit about their roles, how their roles are different but also how they work together.

4 mins Jo talks about her 20% role (a Google initiative to enable its employees to work on passion products) and how that enables Jo to work on building networks of diverse communities within the communications industry.

8 mins There are only 9 people in the UK and Ireland Google comms team.

8.30 mins A discussion of how Google uses agency support.

“I would be lost without my agency…when you get a good agency you hold onto them with both hands and hope the personnel don’t change too much!”

10 mins There are so many specialisms within communications - and a brand like Google uses the full breadth of comms capabilities - from crisis communications, to exec comms, to corporate and public affairs, to brand, consumer and product PR and B2B comms.

How do in-house communicators coordinate that?

13 mins How much of your work is proactive and how much is reactive?

“If it’s a big issue it’s all hands on deck”

“Some people thrive in a crisis”

“We have issues comms at least once a week”

“A lot of PR is problem-solving…reactive requires a completely different part of your brain”

“Where my agency comes into its own is when they burst by bubble…I spend so much time in Google land.”

“My expectation of them (my agency) is 100% all-around creative and strategic ideas”

“We might not go 100% of the way but we might go 25% of the way - and that’s us innovating.”

“I don’t want to feel like a client all the time…I want to feel like we’re colleagues”

25 mins What are the suite of measurement KPIs for Google's comms team?

29 mins How does Google get a balance between the standardisation of the message and localised communications?

31 mins With Google’s development and rollout of AI tools - is this a priority for Google's comms team at the moment?

“(AI) is your business multiplier”

33 mins How do you see the structure of a modern in-house communications team changing in the future?

35 mins Google has an all-women comms team in the UK. Jo, Olivia and Julie reflect on the issues impacting women working in public relations.

“No one is self-made…we all have people who have helped us”

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