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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Edinburgh PR Agency's Red QR Code says PHPR in more ways than one!

We now have a rather jolly red QR code to go with our corporate image. Must admit, I rather like the look of it. It's a cut above the usual black code and I'm assured it contains enough contrast to work on more basic phones' bar-code scanners.

But what does it do?

QR (Quick Response) codes join up the physical and online worlds. Makes it easy for people to load up our basic info online using their phone's barcode scanner wherever they see our QR code - biz cards are so last year dahling!
More importantly, it gets digital info to people fast when they're out and about with their mobile phones and tablets, before the thought has gone and the moment is lost.

Why bother?
Well, QR code scanning increased by 4500% last year. Mainly people scanning for discount coupons or deals and additional information on product packaging (like ingredient lists you can actually read). QR codes are mostly scanned by women using iPhones. Very few Blackberry users seem to scan.
And if you want people to be able to see your website on their phone, you can make a QR bring up your website when the code is scanned by a phone.
And QR generators are free, so why not?

Extra Visual Value
If you really want to cut a dash, maybe a coloured QR code isn't enough? That's when to reach out for Microsoft's own MS tags which can incorporate your logo or graphics. However they can only be read by the MS tag reader.
This is MS tags own tag for their MS tag reader app:

Value-Added Success
As ever: add value with useful, entertaining, extras or money-off content.
You could add 'how to' advice for instance, or a glimpse 'behind the scenes.'
Get people to sign-up, or use QRs to allow people to capture your contact details.
The trick is to set up a special landing page so you can track activity rather than direct someone to the homepage. As a tiny company, that's one we've ignored for now.
Use QR codes to make print interactive, whether it's your own marketing materials or in your adverts.
Turn your physical world digital with QRs in shop windows (for out of hours contact info, or just to save to their phone for future use?), on shopping bags and receipts.
Use them in direct mail, on name tags (our QR code comes with optional personalised stickers, posters and postcards, even a tee-shirt).
Or display on exhibition stands. You could supply your entire product list on a QR, but please design it to be mobile phone-screen friendly.
Plus, sneak QR codes into digital media. For example, embed QR in a PowerPoint presentation so people can capture your background info from the back of the room with their bar-code scanner. You can even use QRs on YouTube videos or TV ads.

Flex that Code
We've got a flexible QR code so we can set it to display more or less anything at any time. Apparently some QR code generators don't allow you to change the info. Most suppliers have a free entry level, but shop around and have a look at the optional extras and constraints.

How Do I Read a QR?
Help people read your QRs by telling them what to use to they don't have a bar code scanner app on their phone. Our supplier recommends using Redlaser for iPhone and Barcode Scanner for Android. i-nigma is also popular on iPhones.
What Do We Get?
As a QR code user, we get quite detailed analytics re where people are finding us and we can set it so that people can SMS us. We're mainly looking at it as another comms channel to give people more options, matching more people's comms preferences.
And it's a nice looking piece of design to add to our photo library - for a service company selling intangibles, that's always a welcome bonus. Used well, and it could become a valuable part of PHPR's intellectual property.
PHPR's QR Info
Given most people are using their bar code scanners on smart phones' little screens, we've taken the advice and kept our info short n sweet. Well, short anyway.
Our splendid-looking red box is just carrying basic info just now:
Penny Haywood Calder - PHPR Ltd
Status: Busy getting clients noticed online and in the media to drive new enquiries & boost their businesses.
Twitter: PennyHaywood
Website name: PHPR - Edinburgh PR agency
Penny's Blog:

How Do QR Codes Work?
And for those of you that like the techie bit: a QR code is a 2-D matrix bar code that stores up to 4,290 alphanumeric characters or 7,089 numbers. Invented in Japan (makes sense: they're brilliant at making things smaller) they were first used to track vehicle parts in 1994 by a Toyota subsidiary, who kindly do not exercise their patent rights so everyone can use it.

PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK. URL: TV Channel on YouTube: Ltd on LinkedInFollow PennyHaywood on Twitter

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posted by Penny Haywood Calder at


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Blogger Penny Haywood Calder said...

Interesting that this is the post that has garnered the most views on the PHPR blog.

12 April 2012 at 21:00  

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