DPK Public Relations client Schipul - The Web Marketing Company continues to accelerate its efforts to prod the public relations community into understanding the impact of the multi-pronged communications technology revolution that's underway. Of course, we are helping along the way and we are proud of the role we played in their most recent hit in the May issue of Public Relations Tactics.
Schipul's Creative Director, Tim Newton inked a great piece about the emerging impact of mobile handheld devices that enable users to browse the Web from anywhere. Look for "Reaching those on the go: Mobile Web users present next major challenge for public relations," in the issue that's hitting mailboxes in the next few days.
No doubt for some the fact that tens of millions of people are -- or soon will be -- just as connected on their commute as they are at their desktop is a, "Yeah, so?" type of proposition. But for public relations practitioners who make a living through high impact communications that reach people wherever they are, the mobile Web should be seen as hugely important. You need to understand that the information they consume and how they consume it is quite different while they are on the go than it is while sitting at a desk. 
Fortunately, it is being received enthusiastically, with PR and marketing groups inviting Tim and others from Schipul to present on the subject. Tim's recommendations?
1. Focus on the user. Think of what the user needs to do on the site rather than what the association thinks they need. Mobile Web users need you to deliver brief bursts of value.

2. Test the site in realistic circumstances. Try it with a variety of devices.  Ask users what they do and how they use the site on their mobile device.

3. Think about context. Since the mobile Web is more about the user’s context, think about what is going on around the user. What will they need to find out? For instance, make it easy to get to addresses, phone numbers and event locations. Target the needs of people on the go.

4. Start over if necessary. Approaching the mobile Web as simply the PC on a cell phone is a bad idea. The two are fundamentally different and demand individual attention. As we grow more accustomed to the mobile Web, the differences will become clearer, so adjust now.

5. Keep it simple. Limit your links and categories, and prioritize links by activity and popularity. A streamlined site serves the need for easy navigation.

I agree with Tim that this is the right time for PR practitioners to examine whether their online communications -- including their Web site and other social media presence -- properly serve the users who access information on mobile Web browsers.
How many near misses do you have to get into on the highway with other drivers who are texting and browsing the Web before you realize that they are the people you're trying to reach?!
Here is a link to the article on the Public Relations Society of America site: http://www.prsa.org/supportfiles/news/viewNews.cfm?pNewsID=842347289.