In the public relations world, keeping up with trends is the name of the game. One game-changer is the surging use of mobile phones, thanks to conveniences like mobile streaming and online shopping right in the palm of our hand. The mobile craze, including a rise in mobile commerce (m-commerce), has advertisers and publishers trying to capitalize on consumerism. But what does this mean for public relations professionals?
We’re in the age of mobile dominance, and it’s affecting the way consumers absorb content. And as technology advances, readers are gravitating toward websites and platforms that offer a seamless mobile user experience.
For PR teams, this means a whole new playground for getting the word out. It also means we should try to influence our companies and clients to get ahead of the mobile trend with innovations like a website that’s optimized for voice search, or – importantly – a mobile site that is accessible to those with disabilities. More directly, the rising popularity of podcasts and other mobile-centric media channels indicate new storytelling opportunities and platforms for PR.
Platforms that offer a strong mobile experience are catching everyone’s attention. When strategizing PR placements, it’s essential to prioritize platforms with robust mobile interfaces. At minimum, press releases, blog posts and other PR material need to be optimized for mobile viewing to ensure the message gets through.
Mobile usage also has implications for other content we produce. Short, pithy, and digestible articles and videos, as well as images that pop on a smaller device are now table stakes.
Social commerce is mobile’s latest opportunity. According to a study of 6000 consumers by Global-e online, a majority of both Millennial (54%) and Gen-Z (55%) shoppers say social media is their number one channel for discovering international brands, with Instagram leading as the preferred platform for purchase (62%), followed closely by TikTok. While not all social shopping is done on mobile devices, the addition of one-click pay and the ubiquity of digital wallets have propelled m-commerce. The trend is particularly striking among Millennials and Gen-Zers, who are now reaching adulthood and coming into their spending power. PR teams have a big opportunity to leverage social influencers for not only brand content, but click-to-buy opportunities.
Podcasts are riding the mobile wave big time. They’re terrific tools for PR teams because they offer a fresh way to spread a PR message, and they tend to be highly targeted. We look at podcasts as a powerful tool for communicating thought leadership by client executives, especially on key topics like building a business culture, management, marketing differentiation, and the like.
The mobile era has redefined engagement metrics. Usage and frequency are more important than downloads and installs, for example, and for most campaigns, interaction is the key measure of success. Understanding engagement metrics helps PR and communications professionals recognize the impact of their media placements and campaigns.
Mobile shopping and streaming are at the forefront of mobile-centric advertising strategies. That’s one reason why AI and ML are emerging as key ways to enhance ad effectiveness and personalization. While adtech is innovating, there’s a prime opportunity for public relations teams as well. Rather than working in a silo, PR people should lean into adtech advances to create compelling narratives. By integrating PR efforts with modern ad personalization tools, they can not only ride the wave but also shape the future of brand messaging.
Adjusting to the mobile-centric world by analyzing and tweaking PR strategies, making content mobile-friendly, dialing up social influencer campaigns and diving into mobile-first media channels is the way forward. Along the way, it’s time for us to get the hang of the evolving mobile advertising scene and its impact on PR in driving strong brand narratives as we march into the future.