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google-plus-communitiesThe recent introduction of Google+ Communities has breathed life into the social network that some have referred to as a wasteland.

Although the number of Google+ users seems a little inflated, it remains a solid niche network for the right industry and audience. With Google+ Communities, you have another component to consider and add to your marketing arsenal.

What are the Google+ Communities to start joining and following for professional development? If you’re a semi-active G+ user, you’ll likely receive invites to participate in a number of communities. Still, it’s a little tough to find them.

Google gives you a few options for discovery—first and foremost the “Discovery” section right below the communities that you’re a part of. You can also use the “search” function as an easy way to hunt for a specific community.

If, after exhausting those options, you’re still coming up dry, here are 14 Google+ Communities to join, as a PR counselor or marketer. I’ve found them helpful (or at the very least, interesting and engaging so far). These are all G+ Communities that have been recommended to me by friends, colleagues, or readers of my blog:

1. Public Relations – This is the best PR G+ community I’ve seen so far. There’s limited spam and self-promotion, and a bunch of smart PR people sharing ideas and notes.

2. Google Analytics 

3. FIR Podcast Community – This is the place for fans of the podcast For Immediate Release to hang with hosts Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz.

4. Brand Socialites – This community is private, which means it’s only open to brand-side community managers and social media strategists. Tweet @brandsocialites if interested. Lauren Fernandez, a community manager for restaurant chain Landry’s, said this is one of her best resources for commiserating with other community managers who work for big brands. Given that it’s private, I’m inclined to believe she’s right.

5. Cult of Mac – There’s lots of good Mac info shared here on a regular basis, including how-tos, fixes, and tips.

6. Hacker News – A community to channel your inner geek.

7. Community Managers – Another good one for people working in this role.

8. Women of G+ – This community was highly recommended by a number of people.

9. WordPress – This feels like a legit community bent on helping people. Many of the posts are questions about WordPresss, which are quickly followed with helpful answers.

10. Podcasts – If you’re looking to get started in podcasting (for yourself or on behalf of a client), this might be a good place to start.

11. Geek – You’ll learn geek tidbits such as the date Temple Run 2 will launch.

12. Content Marketing & Social Media – This community is mostly link sharing, but there’s a lot of good stuff if your title includes “social media.”

13. Google+ Discuss – A Google+ Community about Google+. If you’re a G+ newbie, this is a good place to start learning.

14. Nexus 4 owners – Here’s your one-stop shop for all questions, issues, and concerns about this smartphone.

Taken from PR daily