PR Hacks: How to Revive the Long-Dead QR Code

I know what you’re thinking. “Really? You’re seriously going talk about QR codes?”

Yes, because this blog is going to challenge what you think you know about the dated technology.

QR codes were, admittedly, a flash in the pan. You had to download an application on your smartphone to even scan them, and where did they take you? To a company’s home page? It would have been 100 times faster just to type the URL into your browser. What’s the point?

Today, digitally savvy companies can do a lot more to customize both the look of the code and the kind of results people get from scanning them. While the traditional way of directing scanners to a specific URL is still available, QR codes can now do so much more.

For the following examples, I like the website It’s free, the user interface is clean, and it gives you really easy step-by-step instructions on how to create a polished code. Plus, it tracks everything about your scanners, down to their location and what type of phone they used.

QR Codes for MarketingVCards

Want to share a complete breakdown of your contact information with someone instantaneously? Populate the web form with all the details you want to share and add it to your business card. Now people can scan it, and in one click, add you and even your photo to the contacts on their smartphone.

QR Codes for MarketingPhoto Galleries

Imagine a press event or a trade show where you handed out tiny, cardstock squares rather than USB drives? We’ve done this for a number of clients, directing them to a custom link with a digital press kit. QR codes can even take it a step further by populating a photo gallery like we did here for our client Bosch Power Tools.

QR Codes for MarketingSend a Pre-Written Email

This QR code function will do all the work for you scanners – populate who receives the email, the subject line and the body of the message. All users have to do is press send. There are countless ways to use this feature to your benefit, so get creative.

Those are just three useful examples, but there are countless more. The website I outlined earlier allows you to link directly to your Facebook account or app in the app store, share a mobile-optimized PDF, play an MP3 file or even send a text message.

Are QR codes dead? Maybe. But they’re a snap to create and have some pretty interesting functions, so why not? Happy scanning!

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