Archive for the ‘PR’ Category

Google Fiber

April 11, 2010

This will be broken up into a few different thoughts.

First, Google Fiber is the project to bring super high-speed broadband access to one test city.  Cities competed and applications were due April 1.  Semi-famously, Topeka changed its name for a month to Google.  Google then changed their name for an April fool’s joke.

Mayor Luke gathered people together on Forbes Ave. to spell out the word Google and then, presumably using the city’s wireless network, pressed send on the application.

The Post-Gazette covered it here, and some of the quotes were quite amusing, including some bewildered passerbys thinking it was a protest of some sort.  Also, the number of non-Pittsburgh residents who helped out was really nice to read about.

So do we have a good shot?  I think so.  Google has offices here, at CMU, although they’ll be moving to Bakery Square, if they haven’t already, and Pittsburgh certainly has emerged as a powerhouse in technology, specifically medical and robotic advances.

The web-site for the project here in Pittsburgh is well done, and is branded with “Ready, willing & able,” a fitting slogan.  The parking chair is a fitting image, especially with all we heard about them during snOMG.

And then things got a little crazy.  Later in the day on April 1, Google announced that the entire thing was a hoax.  They did it by releasing this press release.  I got the link sent to me while I was at work.  I didn’t have much time to read it closely, but it was fishy.

To have basically the entire first paragraph made up of unattributed quotes was not only bad form, but really unheard of in PR writing, not to mention the strange use of ellipses.  The second paragraph was one sentence, and that might not be too strange, it was once again an unattributed quote.  The boilerplate came after the ending hashmarks, which might be a preference, but again, struck me as odd.

So I called shenanigans.

Was it a ploy to weed out the competition, make sure only the serious applied?  Possibly.

The Google Fiber web page is still up, and now into the next phase, choosing a winning city.  Pittsburgh is represented well on the map, so we’ll see in the next four months or so what will come of it.

Mayor Luke said as we hear more, we’ll probably be doing more to further attract Google to the Steel City, here’s hoping!