Thursday, April 29, 2010

Why the PR industry must embrace mobile

As just about everyone knows – and as absolutely everyone who reads this publication knows – we are living in the mobile era.

Mobile is the defining communications channel of our time, improving upon – and in some ways eclipsing – the online channel.
As might be expected, many businesses and other organizations have been quick to capitalize on the marketing opportunities presented by mobile. But in the area of public relations, mobile has yet to become a dominant force.

Certainly mobile Web-enabled programs such as Twitter have left a mark on the PR industry. However, the fact remains that most PR professionals are not leveraging the mobile channel optimally, or even scratching the surface.


As the PR industry continues along the path of commoditization, it becomes critical that PR agencies begin to embrace mobile, not just because of the channel’s immense potential – although that should reason enough – but because mobile communications are some of the most direct, immediate and actionable communications available.

These attributes are what make the mobile channel so effective for marketing and sales, and what can make the channel an invaluable tool for PR practitioners.

That said, marshaling mobile for the service of PR is not as simple as it might seem.

While some aspects and outcroppings such as Twitter are accessible, getting the most from mobile on a PR campaign will almost certainly require partnerships with industry experts and knowledge.

As regulations and best practices continue to evolve as the mobile channel matures, there is a great big grey area of protocol to follow, largely unknown by anyone outside the immediate industry.

This, in turn, presents a major hurdle for PR firms trying to use mobile in a similar way to how they use voice or online communications in their strategies and tactics.

Most agencies do not have the technical capability to implement a large-scale mobile campaign, and fewer would find a positive return on the infrastructural investment necessary to develop that capability.

But assessing the value of mobile in this way is truly counterproductive. Instead, the process of developing mobile partnerships should be viewed as a great opportunity.

The more conversant PR professionals become with mobile, the more services they will be able to offer clients.

Becoming a mobile-capable PR firm through strategic partnerships with mobile solutions providers is a very good way to carve out a profitable niche. More importantly, it is a good foundation for the future.

We time

Why is embracing mobile important for PR firms? Click here to find out.

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