It seems like everyone in the public relations field and social media realm is jumping on board on QR Codes.  I have written several posts on QR Codes over the last couple of months – ranging from how they are being used in mobile applications to how to use them in promoting an event like what we are doing at the University of Tennessee with PR Day 2010, to discussing how to use QR Codes in public relations courses.  I have also implemented a QR Code for my CV on my website as well.  Several key public relations professionals have written blog posts recently about QR Codes, what they are, and how to create them.  This is definitely an emerging trend that public relations professionals can use not only in their practices, but bring these tools into the classroom for students to use.  I even have one on my office door that has my office hours on it – so I try to bring the technology not only into the classroom, but integrate it outside of the classroom as well. 🙂

So, how can public relations professionals use QR Codes in their public relations campaign?  Well, they can be used as a tool to allow people to get more information about a product directly on their mobile phone – whether this information is a name of a website or person to contact for further information, or a text message statement from the CEO of a company that the public relations team wants to share with others at a fundraising event.  QR Codes can be used also in creating excitement and engagement with others at events.  For example, you can use quotes and other definitions for people to scan and look at during an event related to a particular case with facts and statistics – this could be extremely effective if used in a health-awareness public relations campaign like the Breast Cancer Awareness campaign with the Susan B. Komen Foundation (ex. having QR Codes around different races that not only has information on where to go in terms of their website and social media pages, but state some statistics that people can download directly to their phone about a particular issue.)  Also, QR Codes could be used to sell and scan tickets or invitations for particular events – which will save money and resources on printing costs – definitely something to consider to be environmentally conscious and practice environment sustainability.

With more professionals incorporating QR Codes into their business and personal communication practices, there will be new features and options that public relations professionals need to be aware of and keep an eye out for.  For example, now you can embed (URL shortener) into a QR Code – which could be useful for public relations professionals to know.  This technology is constantly changing and evolving, and the strategic and innovative public relations professional will be the one that has their hand on the pulse of this new form of mobile technology.

Here are some other articles on QR Codes you all might want to take a look at as well:

  • How to use QR Codes in Social Media:  “But what is a QR code? A QR code is a 2 dimensional code (also known as a matrix code) that can include text, links or other information that can be read by smartphones and some camera equipped cell phones. This means that a user can scan your code with their mobile device and be delivered straight to a specific page. Sparq Code, a mobile engagement company, released a usage statistics document (PDF) in Q1 2010 showing a great deal of usage statistics with their individual codes. The statistics showed that the iPhone took up the majority of the download share with 33.3%, but both Android and Blackberry devices were close behind with 28.7% and 20.3% respectively.”
  • QR codes bring ‘quick response’ links using smartphone barcode apps “QR codes are everywhere these days, from glossy product flyers to billboards to T-shirts. But it’s quite possible you have no idea what a QR code is and wouldn’t recognize one if you saw one. And I can assure you: You have seen one, even if you didn’t realize it. Not only that, you can expect to see a lot more of them.”
  • Are you ready to incorporate QR codes into your communications?“The surge in smartphone ownership seems to be supporting a parallel rise in the use of QR tags. Marketers, advertisers and communicators should start incorporating tags into their planning now. The cost is minimal and the benefits could be huge.”
  • Conversation Prism 3.0 by Brian Solis & JESS3, which includes and QR Codes:  Check out Brian Solis’s announcement and post on his blog about Conversation Prism 3.0

Hope you all are having a wonderful day.

Best Wishes,