The adoption of communications tools such as PCs, fax machines, email, the web and social media have radically altered how we operate and interact with each other, both on a personal and business level. Likewise, mobile communications is revolutionizing how we practice public relations.
The explosion of mobile technology and the ever- growing number of people that use it has made mobile the most important communications trend in a generation. Studies show that the average American (91% of those surveyed) have their mobile phone within reach 24 hours a day. So, with mobile deeply embedded in the American lifestyle, PR practitioners must leverage the opportunity to use mobile communication as a way to deliver company news and generate proactive publicity for an organization.
According to Search Engine Watch:
- 9 out of 10 mobile searches lead to action and over half lead to purchases;
- 70% say they use mobile technologies to follow or monitor news and information;
- 51% frequently or always share or recommend news from their mobile devices (from a 2012 mobile news survey by TEKGROUP International.)
- And, SimplyMeasured revealed that more than 54% of the leading brands are active on Instagram.
With this information in hand, the question is, how can we deliver the information we want to communicate to mobile users? Consider these tips:
- Mobile-friendly websites and blogs provide good PR opportunities and help promote and generate business and goodwill. Companies should ensure their website/blog loads quickly, is easy to navigate and offers prompt access to basic information such as company contacts, hours of operation, etc.
- Create and maintain a mobile-friendly online newsroom for media, bloggers and customers to facilitate access to your latest news. This is of particular importance when you consider that 77% say they visit corporate news websites or online newsrooms using their mobile devices.
- Make sure you have a contact name listed on the main page of your news content. According to an online newsroom report by PressFeed, only a mere 10% of Inc. 500 companies list one. Now think about the number of reporters that work via mobile devices. Journalists cite the lack of a contact name and number as one of the most shocking faults in an online newsroom. Get the picture? If there is no contact person listed in your newsroom, chances are, you’ve already lost the story.
- Optimize mobile via hashtags. More than 7 in 10 hashtag users do so from their mobile devices, according to a survey by RadiumOne. Forty-three percent of hashtags are useful and 34 % are used to search and follow information a person is most interested in.
With the proliferation of communications channels available today, knowing which platform to use and how to use it is key. Make sure to ask the question: Who am I communicating with and what do I want them to do, before embarking on a mobile strategy. Do you want them to respond to a call to action? Generate buzz? The answers to these questions will help determine how best to leverage mobile PR and which platforms will help you best meet your communications goals.