PR 2.0 Trend: 10 Ways Tablets Will Impact PR

by PR Coach on February 3, 2012

29% now own a tablet or e-Reader

If sales stats and trends are any indication, tablet devices will have a growing impact on public relations. Soon. Are we up to the challenge?

We’d better be because 29% of Americans now own a tablet or e-reading device according to a Jan 2012 Pew Internet study. That number grew an amazing 18% from just a month earlier.

Tablets are already influencing news, publishing, TV, and the music and film industries in a big way. Look at The New York Times which just reached 390,000 digital subscribers at year-end 2011. Or many magazines like The New Yorker, Wired, Sports Illustrated and Oprah which have unique applications built specifically for tablets.

Major news websites are now designed for visual appeal, impact and to fit on tablets and smartphones. So should your blog and company website.

App for The New YorkerJoe Pulizzi offers an excellent post on how tablets are affecting those in the content marketing game. Pulizzi says the tablet is a “curl-up” device.

Just look around on the commuter train, in the airport or at your local Starbucks. Consumers at home and wherever they go are “curling up” with their tablets just like they would with a good book just a year ago.

The difference is they’re not only reading. They’re watching video, listening to music, checking e-mail, browsing the internet, reading blogs, posting to Twitter and Facebook, taking pictures and even making phone and video calls using their tablets.

10 Tips for Better PR Content for Tablets & Smartphones

Given these trends, let’s look at 10 ways tablets will impact PR and how we should respond to stay ahead.

  1. Produce more video content. We already know that PR needs to become producers and directors of video content. That includes superb video for news, internal and external communications, and social media. Video needs to become an important element to take advantage of the reach and audience size of channels such as YouTube, Vimeo and Slideshare. All increasingly displayed on tablets.
  2. Make better use of visuals in your materials. With the explosion in microblogging and social media, we need to include more high quality visuals in our communication. This includes photos, infographics, charts and diagrams, even cartoons and other visuals. Then, we need to take advantage of new highly visual channels like Pinterest and Instagram to attract and keep our audiences entertained and engaged.
  3. Socialize your news releases. A recent study by PRNewswire showed news releases with visuals can increase views by more than 77%. Make sure your news releases include visual elements.
  4. Curate more content. Where you can’t create your own material due to time and budget limitations, you can link to material that supports, enhances or illustrates your own content. Curation is a useful tool to add to your PR quiver. You can see an example in my curation blog Public Relations & PR 2.0 Insight on Scoop.it.
  5. Write crisp, concise content. Tablet and Kindle readers want brief information, presented for easy reading. Use subheads for easy scanning and add links for further info so they can follow up later.
  6. Repurpose content. Offer a choice of formats. Think about ways that you can produce your content in several formats. More visual or audio content is ideal for tablet viewing.  Reports, white papers, long articles and other lengthy documents are better produced for later reading on Kindles and other e-readers.
  7. Design for mobile applications. Review your content channels. Talk to your web experts and make sure your website, blog and other content is accessible by tablets and smartphones.
  8. Create two-way channels. Many new technologies and most social media channels are built on two-way communication. Instead of talking to people, we now need to listen and talk with our important audiences, fans and stakeholders.
  9. Recognize the shift in consumption patterns. Both PR and marketing need to adapt messages and content that will appeal in both the office and home. Your readers may see a quick item you produce and then want to follow up in more detail at home.
  10. Measure your digital ROI. Provide a single call to action and measure your response in a way that lets you know they are tablet readers. For example, use a unique link, landing page or other metrics.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re using traditional media relations or speaking directly with your own audiences and readers through social media. Visual is where it’s at because now, and in the near future, content will be consumed on the tablet, a smartphone or both.

What do you think? Are you using video and having success? And are you ready for the tablet world? Love to have your comments below.

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Author: Jeff Domansky

Photo credit: Samsung, The New Yorker