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#Tip of the day from Journalism.co.uk – newspaper lessons in using QR codes to drive traffic

September 1st, 2011Posted by in Handy tools and technology, Mobile, Traffic

Newspapers interested in how to make use of QR codes (quick reader codes) could take a look at a post on Poynter which details the way six US newspapers have been using QR codes to drive traffic to their websites. By assessing the news organisations’ different approaches, Poynter’s post has some helpful advice for anyone trying to make QR codes, which allow users to scan a printed code with their smartphone to take them to a specific web page, work for them. One advantage of a QR code as opposed to a printed link is the ability to monitor the traffic from the code.

The post advises:

Be sure to provide information on how to use the codes.

[Danny Sanchez, online content manager at the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel] suggests putting production rules in place for the codes, making them no smaller than ¾” x ¾” and keeping them off the fold, “which makes it maddeningly difficult to scan”. Editors at the Sun-Sentinel also provide a standard URL redirect next to the code, for those who can’t or won’t scan it.

Creative examples in the post include that of the Washington Post, which has been putting QR codes on “could-be-viral stories” to let readers share them on their Facebook page or the Palm Beach Post, which used a QR code to link to an interactive quiz that let people take five sample questions from the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test given to eighth grade students.

Poynter’s full post is at this link

Tipster: Sarah Marshall

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at Journalism.co.uk email us using this link – we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.

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