At the end of a busy day in and around London last Thursday, I dashed off to the Russell Square, London headquarters of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations for the latest in a series of CIPR Social Summer camps. About two dozen people met to talk about public relations and mobile devices, stimulated by a presentation by Ben Scott-Robinson and Si Crowhurst of WeLoveMobile (read Philip Sheldrake’s blog post for more on the presentation).
There was some talk of location-based services and augmented reality (see Socially Mobile), and of misguided campaigns prompted by knee-jerk “We must do an iPhone app” approaches (rueful smiles about an iPhone app to tell unemployed people about job opportunities!). Some companies seem blinkered to the idea that iPhone apps will only ever reach a small minority of smartphone users (what about Blackberry, Android, Symbian, Windows Mobile, etc, or even mobile browser-based tools?)
One topic that has spurred me into action was QR – or ‘quick response’ – codes. These simple matrix codes – effectively two-dimensional bar codes – can be scanned by many mobile devices (not just iPhones!) to quickly send information such as a website link, some text or business card information (in a vCard format). As my latest batch of business cards, complete with my Twitter ID (post), is now almost completely used up, I have ordered some more and have specified a new design incorporating QR codes on the reverse (creating the codes here).
(And via Twitter, Philip Sheldrake (@Sheldrake) has helpfully pointed out to me that the CIPR’s contact details are already available via a QR code, allowing the information to be scanned direct into the contacts stored on some mobile phones – I scanned it direct into my HTC Hero from the website.)