The role of QR codes in PR
I’m sure you’ve seen Quick Response (QR) codes – the black and white boxes that are popping up everywhere from advertisements to business cards. You may have even scanned or created a code yourself.
Today I attended a SCPRSA luncheon that hosted a panel discussion on how QR codes can be used as a public relations tool to offer details about products and services, communicate brands and even share information with the media (Matt McFadden from Merge was one of the panelists, who we thank for helping build our new website!)
To start, QR codes can link to any of the following:
- Phone numbers
- Contact entries
- Calendar entries
The codes are often placed on print ads, window displays and email signatures – among many other unique places. A growing trend of including QR codes that link to additional information (such as a website or video) to media releases is also surfacing.
So why are QR codes continuing to gain popularity? For one, people are naturally curious about the ability to transfer a physical code to their mobile device – especially since the content is often a surprise. There is also a limited barrier to entry – users only need to: (1) know what QR codes are, (2) have a smart phone, (3) have a QR reader on their smartphone and (4) have a desire to scan the code.
But we have to ask what the future of this technology holds. QR codes are easy to use as a communications tool, but what are the chances it will be replaced? I’d also love to hear about unique uses of QR codes in public relations.