PR Industry Embraces Online

30th January 2013 in PR

Reading a recent edition of PR Week it was refreshing to see in their article ‘What’s in store for 2013?’, that the PR world is acknowledging the need to embrace online marketing and digital, with pieces on both content generation and ‘the impact of evolving mobile technology on the comms landscape’.

Although a seasoned PR practitioner (with 20 years experience under my belt), I have spent the last few years as part of the Smart Arts digital team, and have learned to understand the importance of integrating your offline marketing strategy with online; and taking advantage of the benefits to be gained through search engine optimisation and content generation (to name but two tools).

As PRs we are some of the best placed people to drive this medium, using our writing skills and the in-depth knowledge we have of our clients’ businesses. We should be leading the arena of content generation, not bringing up the rear. 

The PR Week article also focuses on the how mobile technology is changing the marketing landscape, commenting that ‘the arrival of the faster 4G network and wider broadband coverage means that 2013 may be the year brands discover that an effective mobile strategy is critical.’

Again I would suggest a little slow on the uptake! Statistics show that over the past 12-18 months more and more people are accessing content and purchasing products on mobile devices, so if a company hasn’t got an optimised mobile website they will surely be missing out.

*Shopping and browsing on a tablet device is more popular than from a smartphone in the UK; over half (66%) of tablet owners have made a purchase from their device, whilst only 44% have done the same from their smartphone in recent months, according to infographics from eDigitalResearch and IMRG. The results also show that more shoppers have purchased larger ticketed items or products with a higher price tag through a tablet device rather than smartphone.

The latest results also show that over half (56%) of UK consumers now own a smartphone, whilst around 1 in 5 (21%) have access to a tablet device. 

Julia Hutton-Potts, head of European comms, eBay told PR Week: “Advances in mobile and interactive TVs mean that moments of inspiration are instantly shoppable. We were expecting 30 per cent of all 2012 Christmas gifts to be bought on mobile devices.”

**In 2012 mobile traffic made up 10% of global Internet traffic, and next year more people will use mobile phones than PCs to get online, according to Gartner. Purchases made on mobile devices amounted to $6.7 billion in the U.S. (2011), or about 8% of total online sales, and are expected to nearly double to $11.6 billion this year. By 2015, U.S. mobile sales are forecast to reach $31 billion.

Jesse Haines, group marketing manager for Google Mobile Ads, said that a survey of major advertisers in early 2011 showed only 21% had launched a mobile-friendly site.

Here at Smart Arts we have been advising, and delivering, mobile sites for our clients for the last 18 months to 2 years and have seen great results. One client has seen a 232% increase of traffic across all mobile devices from 2011 to 2012; whilst another client recorded an uplift of 690% on traffic just from Apple iPads.

*Source: New Media Trend Watch 
**Source: Mashable 

More from the blog