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Using QR Codes Effectively


QR codes, the little bar codes popping up on a lot of ads and posters recently, can be very effective in advertising and marketing an event if done correctly. They are easy to make and easy to get onto a flyer or poster. To use a QR code, an individual needs a smart phone, tablet, etc. (whether iOS or Android) and a corresponding QR code reading app installed on it. Taking a picture of it enables the phone or device to jump right to the link embedded in the QR code. Below is an example used by Students for Freethought at OSU to advertize a big event with Phil Plait.

When using QR codes, they should be easy to spot by passers by so that they can quickly scan it. It should lead directly to information about the event it is advertizing (Facebook event pages are great for this but web pages can also work out well). Don't forget to include normal links too! You don't want to forget about your non-smartphone using peers.

QR codes can be used for a couple other purposes as well. Be creative, that usually gets the best results. One other use of these codes could be just to have on a small group flyer that then leads to an information page about your group or to your group's Facebook page. Another idea might be to use it for different, random facts that somehow lead into your group's mission; you could have the flyer ask a short question or brain teaser then tell them to scan the code to find out the answer or solution. This would be a fun way to get your group a bit of attention around campus from people who might otherwise not be intrigued by your flyers.

There are many different websites that make it easy to create QR codes. A few will be listed below.Some are more basic or more creative than others; pick one that suits your needs.

If you have any ideas you have tried on your campus to great success using QR codes, let us know at organizer@secularstudents.org and we'll post your ideas and pictures here.

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