Do Public Relations (PR) and Communications practitioners really need to bother with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), or are they just expensive fads?
Is It Worth It?
On the surface, the answer appears simple. A report earlier this summer from Thinknum suggested that consumer interest in VR was waning, with sales of the top four major headsets declining. So if the interest isn’t there, why would comms professionals want to invest using already squeezed budgets?
The picture with AR is a little different, with the technology having significant impact in the worlds of gaming, entertainment and retail, primarily to attract and engage users and customers. But still, it seems that brands aren’t harnessing the full power of this technology.
What makes the answer more complex is how these technologies are used and how measurable their impact is. People might not be queuing up to buy an Oculus headset or similar, but create an immersive experience using VR at a trade show or in a shopping centre and people will be queuing to have a go.
Similarly, while we might not want to enjoy a concert or holiday experience solo from our couches, getting to have a good nose around the hotel you’re about to book or the university you intend to study at using 360-degree VR (VR using 360 degree video rather than CGI) is something that delivers a tangible benefit and something the end user really needs.
More too can be done with both VR and AR to deliver on business goals and measurable results, incorporating data capture points and retaining customers rather than simply attracting and engaging them using one-off experiences.
Really, the big question here is HOW should VR and AR be used by PR and communications professionals - why not join us on Wednesday 19 September to discuss and try out some of the latest technology?
Ticket prices start from £36 (CIPR member) and £48 (Non CIPR member).