As public relations continues to evolve at warp speed with social, digital, citizen journalists and a 24/7 news cycle, public relations practitioners need to ensure they are responsive to the growing demands of mobile users. While just 55 percent of Americans are using smartphones and tablets today, that number is increasing at a rate of 50 percent each year. According to The Public Relations Strategist’s fall 2013 article, The Explosion of Mobile Audiences and What it Means for Public Relations, there are big implications for PR in a mobile world.
The author warns that if your organization’s website takes too long to load, is not formatted for the size of the user’s screen, and has elements not supported by the user’s operating system, you risk that person never returning to your site again.
To get started on making your website mobile friendly so that that you can effectively connect with your mobile audience, the author suggests the following:
- Review your website traffic: If more than 15 percent of your traffic comes from mobile devices, then it’s time to optimize your site for mobile users.
- Consider the value of Google results: Google has started to reward mobile optimized content in mobile search results.
- Know the pros and cons of apps: While 80 percent of the time people spend on mobile devices is spent using apps, 26 of all apps that are downloaded are only used once. Be cautious before jumping on the app bandwagon.
- Understand that fun can be powerful: Mobile users spend a lot more time playing games than consuming news (15 times as many hours). What can your organization do to engage with users who want to be entertained and play?
The author makes the point that mobile is revolutionizing PR, making it the most important communications trend in a generation, just like the internet was for communicators 20 years ago.