You don’t need to be a data scientist to figure out that the world is going mobile.
The sales of mobile phones and tablets tell this story as does Apple’s cash hoard, $158 billion as of January 2014.
Along a similar line, eMarketeer projects that mobile ad revenue will triple over the next three years.
Drilling down to what’s important to PR, are consumers and B2B buyers getting their news and information on mobile devices?
Again, check the box.
A Pew Research Center study from last year shows well over half of smartphone and tablet users consume news on mobile devices.
OK, this isn’t exactly a breaking insight.
But it’s the velocity of the mobile movement that I’m not so sure is well understood by PR. This velocity becomes clear in plotting out the percent of mobile views of my blog going back to 2011.
After watch-the-grass-grow numbers for 13 quarters, the pace has doubled during the past six months with 33 percent of views now on mobile devices.
As the communications function continues to come up the curve on business storytelling, it now needs to also consider how to shape this storytelling so it plays on mobile devices.
This means jumping on the responsive design bandwagon and making sure your owned media assets, especially blogs, deliver mobile-friendly content. If your blogs reside on WordPress, there are plugins that make it easy to deploy responsive functionality. In spite of my own blog’s hurting design, I was pleasantly shocked to find it actually looks better on a smartphone.
It also means thinking through the type of content that works best on mobile devices. It’s too early for best practices to emerge, though common sense says shorter stories and greater use of visuals resonate with mobile users.
Yet there’s nuance to the issue as reflected in the Pew research called out earlier that noted:
- 73 percent of tablet owners and 61 percent of smartphone news consumers read longer stories at least sometimes.
That’s why it’s important to experiment and learn from the experimentation of others, particularly media properties like Quartz, The Verge and and BuzzFeed built from the start to deliver an online experience.
I think it’s fair to say that the time has come for PR to bake mobile into campaigns and launches.