Public Relations & Marketing with QR Codes

March 2nd, 2011
Flickr Image: Fluid Forms

Flickr Image: Fluid Forms

In my last post, I talked about 2D barcodes being used in the print media to connect the readers’ to additional content and offer a more interactive experience. I also mentioned that there’s a myriad of uses in the communications field – not just advertising but marketing and public relations as well.

Remember, however, even though QR codes are catching on here in the US, that doesn’t mean everyone knows what they are or how to use them. If you plan to launch an initiative using QR codes, be sure that you educate your audience with detailed instructions on what to do.  Also, wherever the QR code leads must offer value – exclusive information, how-to videos, giveaways, discounts, entertainment –something to grab their attention and encourage interaction. It is often easier to have the QR code point to a website that can be updated and refreshed with new content, rather than a static page, as once a QR code is created most cannot be modified.

Here are some ways to utilize QR codes in marketing, event planning and PR:

  • Print on your business cards leading to client testimonial page or background bio.
  • Include on conference attendee badges to make exchanging contact information a snap.
  • Non-profits could link to volunteer and donation pages.
  • Use it to link consumers (or reporters) to how-to videos or detailed instructions.
  • Have a QR code screen-printed onto t-shirts, linking to details, to raise awareness about a charity cause or some other event.
  • Use at a tradeshow to allow attendees to quickly scan your contact info.
  • Grassroots campaigns could link to a podcast of their guiding principles with a call to action.
  • Put next to retail displays linking to product reviews.
  • PR efforts for a large event could utilize a QR Code with a link to a map of the event’s venues.
  • Sponsoring an event? Use a QR code on signage and other pieces linking to a special thank-you page and a sign-up form for such things as newsletters.
  • In public awareness materials, it might link to an assessment survey or support resources.

In media relations, you could even embed in your press release directing the journalist to your online press kit or photo gallery and fact sheets. That should be just enough to get your creativity flowing. What can you add? How are you incorporating QR codes into the marketing mix? How has it benefited your communication efforts? What have been some of the challenges?

9 Responses to “Public Relations & Marketing with QR Codes”

  1. Great tips! I’m thinking I can use them for the entertainers in my talent agency. Have them point to new music, electronic press kits, reels and more. Thanks for getting my creative juices flowing.

  2. Tiffany, thanks for sharing – those are excellent ideas!

  3. Judy Drucker says:

    I am working with a great NYC printing company now and we are launching a QR quote tee-shirt promotion pointing prospects to their website. I’ll let you know how it works.

  4. I’d love to hear, Judy. Like, is it going to a special offer page or just their main website? Hope it’s a success!

  5. Rebecca says:

    Thanks for this post. Any suggestions on where to start? How expensive is it to produce a single QR code?

  6. Rebecca, creating the actual code is free. Just Google “QR code generator” and you’ll get sites like and Hope that helps get you started.

  7. Barcode News says:

    Such a great invention- the barcode, and now QR code, has endless possibilities. Check out for other great uses of the barcode!

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