10 Things You Should Know About an App

Source: www.filmofilia.com

The news that an app has found its way into the coverage of this year's Oscar telecast should come as no surprise to communicators who've successfully integrated them into campaigns.

For the Oscars, ABC created an app that allows advertisers to digitally link with the network's coverage of the event, which takes place Feb. 24. Advertisers University of Phoenix and Hyundai will be running video spots online as well as via the ABC app.

As the app has emerged as a viable digital communications tool, more brands are taking advantage of the platform. PR News has reported on several organizations using apps to help take their brands to the next digital level.

For example, commercial real estate company Jones Lang LaSalle created an app that has become a go-to real estate industry resource. Cartoon Network introduced the Stop Bullying: Speak Up Social Pledge app, an interactive pledge that encourages educators, parents and students to make a personal commitment—and recruit others to join them—to help stop bullying.

In addition, apps were everywhere at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Candy maker Cadbury's “Choculator” app allowed users to pick one of the company’s chocolate bars and match it with an Olympic event. Sweet.

As you can tell, app objectives run the gamut. To get the most of any app, communicators need to know some basics before app concepts can be turned into digital reality.

Richard Ouyang, associate director of digital strategy at PR agency Peppercomm, imparts 10 things you need to know about apps:

  1. Know good UX: Know what a good user experience is when it comes to how people interact with an app—there’s a science to design and flow.

  2. Workflow logic: There’s a logic to apps that applies to business objectives, which in turn applies to app functionality.

  3. Simplification: PR pros need to wrap their arms around how people consume information—people read headlines and look at pictures. Too much or too little information can be the difference between success and failure.

  4. Know how it works, really: When it comes to all things digital, PR pros often have good ideas, but don’t think through how it comes to life. Understanding technical execution helps ensure your idea comes to life.

  5. Connection to everything: Information is pulled from somewhere to appear on your phone. Understand how mobile connects to a Web site and how information is passed to apps and devices. It helps you give people what they want, faster.

  6. Devices and software: iPhone? iPad? Nexus? Galaxy? Android? Honeycomb? Understand the implications of devices people use to access the app.

  7. Features—what does it do again?: Understand what’s possible with mobile apps. Ask yourself what this app should do. For example, do you know how push notifications work with geolocation and Google Maps?

  8. Definitions and process: Understanding mobile app development also means you understand platforms, operating systems and processes—like how long it takes to get into the iTunes app store or Android market.

  9. Latest and greatest: Mobile apps are constantly updated, so keep your finger on the pulse.

  10. You’re a user: As PR pros, we use mobile apps. It helps you understand the difference between a compelling app and an app that has no long-term value.

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