Mobile PR Tactics in This Digital Age

9 Jul

For years, we have always delighted at the astonishing fact that information is available at our fingertips. People who are in their mid-to-late 20’s have been the first generation of consumers of the digital age – from learning to use the internet and participating in chat rooms and instant messenger to now drowning ourselves in all forms of social media. If curiosity ever consumes us, we know we are just one Google search away from an endless amount of information. We are always connected, not only to our friends and family, but connected to celebrities, professionals, and pretty much anyone and everyone around the globe. Today, we the inventions of the iPhone and iPad (and other similar tablets and smart phones), information is literally at our fingertips. We no longer have to be in the library, at a home office, or “plugged in” to a computer… information has now become mobile.

With the increase in mobile usage and overall information gathering via mobile devices, I have often thought that mobile advertising and PR would be the new mediums for PR professionals to focus on. But I wondered how? How would it differ from other digital forms of PR? How would we target people via mobile tools?

Well, I recently had brunch with friends at a restaurant called Little Havana in Baltimore. It is a popular brunch spot, and it is often difficult to get a table, especially if you arrive in the later hours of brunch. (They have bottomless mimosas and bloody Mary’s, so people often linger for quite awhile.) Anyway, as I approached the hostess stand to put my name on the wait list, I was pleasantly surprised to see the hostesses did not have computers with OpenTable software or a traditional dry-erase layout of the restaurant, but they were equipped with iPads. They asked me for my name and cell phone number, and they told me that they would text me when my table was ready. How awesome is that? I could stroll through the harbor, go to nearby shops, or just sit at the bar. It didn’t matter if  I was still in the building  or a few blocks away, they could still easily contact me to let me know that a table was available. It sure beats those other little devices that buzz or light up when you’re table is ready, but you have to stay in the building or within a few feet of the building for them to work.

I enjoyed a couple of drinks, a delicious Cuban-inspired meal, and time with my friends. Since I had known these particular friends for the past 6 years, and I will be moving over 3,000 miles away in just a few weeks, we spent a couple of hours in the restaurant. We left around 2 p.m. Around 2:30 p.m., I received a text message from the same number that had texted me when our table was ready. It told me to reply to the message if I was interested in receiving text updates and exclusive text specials for Little Havana. I thought that was brilliant!

I think utilizing a text messaging service is a great way to tap into the mobile market. With people constantly being connected through their smart phones, mobile advertising and PR may become one of the most effective means to target people – especially young people. We have our phones attached to our fingers almost at all times, and many of us even sleep with our phones. People do not pay much attention to traditional advertising anymore, and many people have started to ignore internet ads as well. Mobile advertising is definitely the way of the future.

What other ways have you seen businesses utilize the mobile medium to execute advertising and/or PR plans? Or what other ways do you think we can utilize this medium?

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One Response to “Mobile PR Tactics in This Digital Age”

  1. Diamond August 31, 2012 at 12:59 PM #

    Interesting post! We discussed in my advertising class yesterday how mobile advertising is going to become the biggest type of advertising in the near future. You hit a great point when you said we are always on our phones/laptops/iPads, so to reach us, marketers have to meet us where we are at. It is funny that some companies have not caught on as quickly as I would expect them to though.

    My last trip to the dentist, the receptionist had me fill out my new-patient information on an iPad. it is not exactly mobile marketing/PR, but I thought it was cool 🙂

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