The launch of the Apple iPad will increase the focus of online PR, according to technology PR specialists, Punch Communications.
Unveiled on January 27, Apple’s iPad bridges the gap between products like the firm’s iPod and a laptop, but more interestingly, with its large touch screen, will make viewing and reading web-hosted media a lot friendlier on the go and at home.
As well as internet, video and audio capabilities, the iPad will be able to run existing iPhone applications, such as those offered by social media sites Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, to create a new level of media and communication integration.
Positioned as a single hub for digital media, the iPod’s arrival comes at a time when audiences of traditional print media are in decline and more companies are increasing marketing spend and focus towards digital outlets.
"The magazine isn’t dead yet, but if ever there was a catalyst for publishing houses to shift their existing print titles to digital, the arrival of the iPad is it," comments Luke Brackenbury, one of Punch’s team of PR consultants.
Online PR has become easier to measure now. More websites are audited and there’s the ability to track embedded links. For companies, the advantages of targeting an article or product review in a digital magazine that links through to a potential instant purchase are irresistible for a PR company not to focus its efforts at.
Though eReaders and digital tablets have been previously available, Apple’s track record of combining user friendliness with pleasing aesthetics to existing technologies and platforms thrusts these devices into the mainstream – the iPhone has already sold 33.75 million units worldwide.
Despite reports that the iPad doesn’t support Flash, the industry standard application used to create many current interactive magazines, existing digital titles may have to wait only a short time until a host of alternative Windows-powered devices bring competition to the table.
Amidst continual environmental pressures, traditional print media must be taking notice of the further threat placed on them by the proposition and ease of downloadable magazines on a multi-media reader such as the iPad.