Posts Tagged ‘QR codes’


Experiment in Social Media by ‘Communicating the Experience’

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
PRSA-NCC Panel on "Communicating the Experience"

Flickr Image: Capital Communicator - 9/18/12 PRSA-NCC panel on Communicating the Experience featured Heather Freeman, Heather Freeman Media and Public Relations, moderator; Garrett Graff, editor-in-chief, Washingtonian; Amy McKeever, editor, Eater; Vanessa French, co-founder, Pivot Point Communications; and Carlisle Campbell, vice president, Ketchum.

The only way to succeed in social media is to experiment A LOT! One out of ten tries will be successful and two out of three will be somewhat successful, says Garrett Graff, editor-in-chief, Washingtonian. A panel at the National Capital Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America on Sept. 18 confirms his statement. All the panelists look for ways to communicate the experience, especially in relation to food.

Carlisle Campbell, vice president, Ketchum, speaking about the Double Tree by Hilton Cookie CAREavan Across America campaign, a winner of the 2012 Thoth Awards, says they focused on three key ways to connect to the public via social media:

  • a cookie confessional (video of consumers discussing cookie or Double Tree experiences)
  • swarm car (a Twitter contest for an office cookie party)
  • and an online sweepstakes.

The swarm car originally left executives nervous, but eventually provided additional opportunities, such as when the Atlanta office of the Associated Press won and tweeted their happiness.

Tips for Experimenting in Social Media

Incorporate photos into the mix: With the implementation of the Facebook timeline, Vanessa French, co-founder, Pivot Point Communications, advocates using a lot of pictures. Speaking of pictures, everyone agreed “food porn” is irresistible to the consumer. People love to post pictures of food, so organizations should take the lead and upload photos to their media properties.  

Leverage outreach to boost advocacy: French advocated outreach to local bloggers about events, which she finds can often lead to their posts being testimonials.

Know your audience: As with all campaigns, the key is to knowing what platforms your audience is using. In reviewing Facebook and Twitter, Graff comments Facebook is for following friends who are strangers and Twitter is for following strangers who are friends. French also says Facebook users do not like shortened links, unless they are coming from an established media company.

The panel considers Pinterest the new bright shiny tool, and brands need to evaluate it for usefulness for their campaigns. Graff says it is especially useful if you are targeting young women looking to get married, even if the wedding is not imminent. French commented on several non-profits, like the World Wildlife Federation, using it successfully. She also said many men are on Pinterst talking about technology.

Expand your communities: Amy McKeever, editor, EaterDC, says she stays in-touch with many smaller restaurants through Facebook and Twitter, and she finds Twitter to be a good way to gather news. She doesn’t post news to social media until it is posted to Eater, because her goal is to drive traffic to her site.

Align tactics with business goals and objectives: Campbell says the debate over creating a website versus a Facebook page is discussed in their office. Many of his younger colleagues advocate for the Facebook page. French says if you do choose a website, be sure to advocate for a blog, which will help with SEO.

QR codes and the next wave of social-technology…  French says she pitches QR codes to clients, but they are often not in the final campaign. Graff feels we are at a low point for QR codes, right now. They are not easy to use, so he says a simple link works just as well. But, he thinks a more advanced QR code that is universal might be on the horizon.

How are you and your clients continuing to experiment with social media? What new trends do you see on the horizon? What tried-and-true tactics continue to work in the present? Please share your thoughts with BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas readers.

2012 Counselors Academy Conference: Mobilizing Your Firm for a Smartphone World

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Colleen Flood*

Linda W. Cohen, APR, founder and CEO, The Caliber Group, Inc., and Michael Barber, director of digital strategy, Cohn Marketing, recently presented on Mobilizing Your Firm for a Smartphone World at the 2012 Counselors Academy Conference.

It seems like everyone wants to learn how to integrate mobile in to their communications strategy, engage with consumers using smartphones, and strengthen their capabilities portfolio. Marketers are now putting the majority of their efforts into mobile and with good reason.

  • The average amount of data consumed by consumers is 46GB per day.
  • For smartphones, that is 65 minutes per day.
  • By 2013, over 50 percent of web traffic will be through mobile devices.
  • It is predicted that mobile email will overtake webmail by next month (June 2012).
  • Mobile search is up 400% on Google.
  • Fifty-eight percent of adults are likely to make a purchase on a smartphone.

Their roundtable offered some compelling statistics for the use of smartphones and mobile marketing, but it seems that many marketers struggle to get a handle on things as consumption shifts. Cohen and Barber discussed some of common mobile marketing “mistakes” and offered some potential remedies.

Mistake One – Combining Social Media with Mobile
Don’t try to be all things in the mobile space. Instead focus on your strategy, creative production, and service-based applications. From there, start and move outward. Choose partners to work on other services. Then extend current digital services across mobile. As for finding the right partner,

  • Know what you don’t know and seek partnerships accordingly.
  • You cannot teach marketing strategies to a mobile strategist. It is easier to teach mobile to marketing not vice versa.
  • Attend mobile conferences that are tech and brand focused.

Mistake Two – Thinking Your Agency is Going to Make Quick Money on Mobile
ROI comes from multiple places. Understand where mobile dollars come from.

Mistake Three – Not Using Tools Already Out There
Why recreate the wheel? HTML 5 allows developers to create one site that will work on multiple platforms. And there are a number of tools already out there designed to create and enhance mobile efforts.

  • Mobify.com – mobile web tools
  • Torsion Mobile – Mojaba
  • TheAppbuilder.com
  • Snaplab Media – QR Codes.
  • Mogreet – MMS Tool

And don’t forget to leverage old mobile phone tactics.

Mistake Four – Doing Mobile Just Because
This one is pretty self explanatory. Why waste time and effort if it doesn’t fit into your overall communications strategy and align with business goals and objectives?

Mistake 5 – Pricing and Selling Like an Agency
The key to selling mobile is to educate your clients.

Additional Tips
In addition to these common mistakes, Cohen and Barber also suggested that marketing professionals look out for developing trends in the mobile and smartphone space.

  1. Natural User Interface
  2. Speech Development (e.g., Siri)
  3. Connected Devices (e.g., the mobile cloud)
  4. Network Maturation (e.g., How much data can we process as adoption rises?)
  5. Socio-economic impact

How are you mobilizing your firm in a smartphone world? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

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*Bio: Colleen Flood has been a sales consultant with BurrellesLuce for over 12 years and is eager to become a more integrated part of the social-public relations community. She primarily handles agency relations in the New York and New Jersey metro-area. She is not only passionate about work, but also about family, friends, and the Jersey Shore. Twitter: @cgflood LinkedIn: Colleen Flood Facebook: BurrellesLuce 

  

Top BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas Posts in 2011 – Numbers 10 to 1

Friday, December 30th, 2011

iStock_000010469879XSmallYesterday, we kicked off our end of the year wrap-up with part one of the 20 Top BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas posts in 2011. Today we will be counting down the top ten.

What do you think of this year’s most popular Fresh Ideas stories? Were you surprised at the range of topics? What would you like to see covered in 2012? Please share your thoughts and leave comments below.

10. Are PR Budgets Back?

9. Don’t Let a Bad Interviewer Spoil the Interview

8. Twitter Chat Transcripts Now Available from BurrellesLuce

7. When It Comes to Brands and Content, Simplicity Matters

6. Measuring Social Media, The Value of Influence

5. The Evolution of Media Measurement: Dr. Jim Grunig, University of Maryland, Interview

4. Public Relations and Marketing With QR Codes

3. Can We Talk? Social Media’s Impact on Human Relations

2. Survey: Journalists Do Not Want to Be Contacted Via Twitter

1. Blogger Relations Misconceptions

Public Relations & Marketing with QR Codes

Wednesday, 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?

Barcodes and The Media

Monday, February 28th, 2011
Flickr Image: The American Library Association (ALA)

Flickr Image: The American Library Association (ALA)

Barcodes have been used in the retail, logistics, inventory/warehousing and governmental environments since the 1970’s. There are numerous types of 2D barcodes, but for this post, I’ll be referring primarily to Quick Response (QR) codes – which didn’t come into existence until 1994. QR codes have been popular in Japan for quite some time and even have been used in some European countries but have struggled to gain acceptance here in North America.

About a year ago, my BurrellesLuce colleague, Lauren Shapiro, wrote about the world being a giant barcode and how this might affect the public relations and marketing realm. In September 2010, I attended a PRSA professional development day (hosted by SWMO PRSA) where Ben Smith, Social: IRL agency, talked about PR and media uses for QR codes – that’s when it started to “click” for me. Then, a few months ago, another colleague, Denise Giacin, wrote about a book by a New York Times reporter and his perceptions of the changing media landscape – each chapter beginning with a QR code. 

So, if this is not new, why am I just now writing about this? Because it seems to me that it’s no longer just speculation by the thought leaders, but it’s actually catching on. (I’m a wait and see kinda gal, after all Missouri is the “Show Me State.”) With the popularity of smart phones, QR codes are now more practical than in the past and are probably destined to become even more so in the future. Google Places began using QR codes, issuing window decals, in December 2009 as a quick way to see reviews and coupons for local businesses. There’s a myriad of uses in the communications field and I’ll talk more about that in my next post. 

A number of print media outlets are now using barcodes to connect the reader’s print and online experiences. Mobile barcodes offer publishers an easy way to bridge the gap between traditional print mediums and digital media. The barcodes allow them to offer a more personalized and interactive experience – like linking from an advertisement to a coupon or recipe. But it’s going beyond advertising now.

The Washington Post recently began including QR codes to offer “digital jumps” to additional content. Lucky Magazine uses QR codes to link to hair and makeup instructional videos. South Florida Sun Sentinel uses QR codes to link to digital content. USA Today announced last week that they are making a commitment to use at least one Microsoft Tag (a proprietary 2D barcode) in each daily section that will provide mobile access to photos, videos and other online content.  Even some college papers, Cal State Fullerton for one, have begun using these barcodes in the print edition.

The naysayers are convinced of the demise of print media; however, new technologies like QR codes offer the ability to make their content more interrelated. It provides readers with a more interactive and productive experience. 

Is this just what print media needs or is this a stop-gap measure on the downhill slide? I look forward to you sharing your thoughts with our readers.