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November 29, 2010
PR Going Mobile: Where's Your App for That?
 
David Meerman Scott has a point. He's making it with the debut of his very own iPhone and iPad applications.

"I've done this," he says, "partly as an experiment because I'm convinced that the public relations, analyst relations and investor relations departments of companies need to create such applications to reach their constituents."

In his travels, Scott has "noticed more and more reporters and analysts using mobile devices, especially iPads, to take notes during meetings. I've also seen many iPhones, Blackberrys, and the like constantly in use when they’re on the go."

He reacted by moving his "on line media room" to a free mobile app and recommends that other PR outfits do so as well. His own app was created by Newstex, "a company I'm an advisor to," so he probably got a break on its cost (or donated some of his time).

"It turns out," Scott says, "that the difficult part of application development is the back-end" (updating feeds in real-time and supporting related images and links).

True, Scott is a multiply-published author and more in the public eye than many practitioners, but the mobile trend is clear enough. 

Scott's app includes his blog posts, Twitter feed, videos, and a link to his online bookstore a Amazon. He notes that Newstex also created an application for PR Newswire "that's being rolled out in multiple languages." That may be going a bit far for your average shoe-leather PR firm, but the reality is that more and more traffic is becoming mobile, and that's where PR shops will need to be, too, as economically as possible -- at least until their new mobile business starts rolling in.

Of course, Shel Holtz, of Holtz Communication, had a similar post, "Is your company invisible without an iPhone app?" last January.

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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