Whilst on the tube this week I noticed how The Metro has tentatively embraced QR codes (QR means quick response). These funny little squiggly square boxes are popping up in poster ads, on cartons, cans and bottles, and on business cards – I notice more and more every day.

And there is more evidence of mainstream barcode use with the Starbucks story in the FT today. In the US you will be able to wave your mobile at a scanner, instead of a loyalty card. Hallelujah! I can never find my loyalty card.

QR codes have been around a while, but are becoming mainstream. We’ve been monitoring this for a while and when relevant, building QR codes into our PR strategies for event details, competitions, helping people catch the information the moment they see it. Through all our research, this is what we found:

Easiest, fastest and free QR barcode generator – http://zxing.appspot.com/generator/

Easiest, fastest and free reader app – http://www.i-nigma.com/i-nigmahp.html

And this is me….

Interesting reading in today’s FT on new bribery legislation that could affect the corporate hospitality industry and have a knock-on effect for the PR industry.

The implications are less about offering an afternoon out at a premiership game or indulgences at Ascot, but  more about ‘grand hospitality’ events that could come under scrutiny – especially trips abroad.

We’ve flown journalists all over the world to visit client HQs or attend events, conferences and shows – perhaps with a sporting or arts event thrown in for entertainment. Of course, there is never a guarantee that any media on a trip will write about the client who has funded it, but there is an expectation that the media should consider writing about the paying client, especially if an interesting and relevant angle is revealed.

We need to be mindful of the new legislation so we don’t fall foul, but the guidance is not available yet.

Those PRCA agencies with a desire to get their thoughts in order should also heed point 2.7 of the PRCA Code of Conduct:

“Neither propose nor undertake any action which would constitute an improper influence on organs of government, or on legislation, or on the media of communication.”

Is it time to shape your reputation?

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