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Yikes! You Really Don’t Have a Mobile PR Strategy?

Public relations as an industry is slowly but steadily integrating digital and social media into its workflow and accepted practices. PR professionals use social media and digital tools to manage media relations and to connect with journalists and bloggers online.

Mobile for PR

We’re also beginning to see the value and need for having a better working understanding of things like SEO, SEM, monitoring and measurement—each serving a critical function today.

But how are we doing with mobile?

As of January 2014, 90 percent of American adults own a cellphone, 58 percent of American adults own a smartphone, 42 percent of American adults own a tablet and 32 percent of American adults own an e-reader, according to the Pew Research Internet Project. In spite of the fact that most of us own, use and can’t live without a mobile smartphone or tablet—are we remembering to factor mobile usage by our target audiences into the strategies and campaigns we create and manage? Sadly, we could be doing more.

Smartphones are indispensable.

Sixty-seven percent of American adults access the Internet from their phones every day, according to research published by Google. Additionally, 94 percent of mobile smartphone owners use their phone to search for local information, and 84 percent of those people take action based on the results of their research.

Given the surge in ownership and usage integrating mobile is nothing less than essential.

Mobile is especially important in today’s media relations. Today’s journalists are as busy as the rest of us and using mobile tools on the fly the same way we do. Marketing and sales strategist, David Meerman Scott explains, in a Fast Company interview by Wendy Marx, of Marx Communications:

“It’s really a matter of understanding that we live in a 24-hour real-time world. Reporters can be working at home, on the road, on their iPhone when they are at a baseball game. You can reach them any time. You need to create content optimized for their devices so that reporters will find that when they are writing a story.”

David also talks about the importance of optimizing content for mobile, creating content and commenting in real time on blogs, social networks and converting press kits into mobile apps that will provide easy access to news releases, photos, videos, blog posts and Twitter streams. He warns not to take technology as an excuse to spam reporters.

PR for Mobile - Secondary

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Whether your strategy addresses mobile media relations, or is designed to help your client or organization develop new relationships or meet other business objectives, there are five basic questions you should ask and answer:

1. What Are You Trying to Accomplish?

This is the same question you answer with each campaign. What are the goals and objectives? What’s your budget and timetable? Establish this at the outset and be sure to include budget for ongoing development and technical trouble-shooting. 

2. Who Is Your Audience?

Again, always a critical starting point. Identify the target audience and find out where they spend time, what they’re paying attention to and how they communicate. Review web analytics to get a sense of the percentage of mobile users and what browsers and devices they are using to access the web.

3. What Do They Want?

Do you know what your target audience is interested in? How does what they want or need match what your organization is communicating. Monitor the web and social networks for keywords and conversations so you know what’s important to them and can communicate effectively.

4. What Content Will You Provide?

Do an analysis of the content you will be distributing via your mobile channels. Make sure it and the sites you are using are optimized for mobile. Check to see how the content appears on mobile and make sure to share your content on blogs and social networks so you will be found easily.

5. How Will You Monitor and Measure?

Today’s PR professional understands the value and importance of monitoring campaigns and being able to measure the success or failures. Your mobile stratagy must include effective monitoring and measurement tools so you can easily stay on top of the campaign’s progress and be able to provide campaign data afterwards.

Additional Resources

Are you looking for more information on how to develop a mobile strategy or how journalists use mobile? Check out The Journalist’s Toolbox, a site presented by the Society of Professional Journalists, and filled with links to information related to mobile journalism. Another resource is the International Journalists Network, a site that provides professional and citizen journalists with the latest media innovations, online journalism resources, training opportunities and expert advice.

“The bottom line is that PR practitioners need to be as nimble and quick as a reporter or blogger on deadline and be anywhere they are likely to find you–on mobile, on social media, on a blog, on video. All you need to do is seize the opportunity,” says Wendy Marx.

She’s absolutely right.

Allen Mireles is a strategist with an affinity for technology who lives/works at the intersection of social media and traditional marketing/public relations. Want to read more from Allen? Click here!

Image: Karen CoxPhil Campbell (Creative Commons)

About Allen Mireles

Allen Mireles is a strategist and wordsmith with an affinity for technology. She lives at the intersection of social media and traditional marketing and public relations and never gets enough time in the garden. Find her on Twitter @allenmireles.

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