Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has joined other tech giants in an initiative to digitally connect the world. The goal of this plan is to have everyone in the world connected to each other via the World Wide Web. Currently, there are over five billion people who live on the planet. However, almost two-thirds of the world’s population does not have access to the Internet.
If the efforts for this major push to worldwide digital connectivity are to succeed, mobile devices must be a very important part of the overall plan. Mobile audiences have not only exploded in less developed nations, they have also become a very integral part of the economies in Europe, Asia and North America. It has quickly become one of the most advanced communication trends ever seen in one generation.
Just like the introduction of the web and email presented challenges to Kent State University PR graduates a little over two decades ago, today’s graduates of an online PR program must learn how to quickly embrace and adapt to changes in mobile. Many of these changes are still occurring.
Recent Growth of Mobile
Data from several sources have indicated that over 70 per cent of Americans have access to the internet in their homes. Between 2008 and 2011, the number of American homes with online access rose to 18 million. Other studies have cited that since 2011, this number has only risen about 3 per cent every year. It is speculated that the trend of consumers purchasing PC’s has peaked, and it will continue to decline as mobile continues to grow.
By comparison, the smartphone penetration in the United States is lower, but is growing at the rate of almost 40 per cent annually. Unlike a PC, a mobile device does not require a dedicated area to be set up. They can also link to Wi-Fi or wireless networks, and are not subjected to the same hardware requirements as desktop devices.
It is also interesting to note that almost 60 per cent of the traffic that a business receives from a consumer is mobile. Non-profit businesses saw an increase of 70 percent with mobile traffic, with users of mobile devices making up over 20 per cent of all traffic on the web.
Are There any Consequences for Public Relations?
If you have not yet taken the time to brainstorm how your company can engage and connect with users, now is the time to have the right online PR degree graduates on your marketing team.
The first thing that you will want to do is review the traffic your website is receiving. It is likely that your data will show a high percentage of mobile users who are trying to access your website. Is there more than a 10 per cent of the website traffic mobile? If so, it is time to optimize the site for these users.
Public relations have had to navigate disruptions in marketing. Mobile has revolutionized your business the same way email and fax did to businesses decades before, so PR graduates have exciting times ahead.