Glasgow Icon Tour Delivered Through QR Codes

The Real Challenge

Real PR was contacted by Matthews Marketing to work with them on a press launch for a series of downloadable tours for their retained client The Charles Rennie Mackintosh Heritage Group.

Three downloadable PDF tours had been produced by Matthews Marketing working with Freight Design. They offered insight into the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and other great Glasgow architects that can lie hidden to the untrained eye.

The objectives of this short small budget campaign were:

  1. Raise awareness of the tours
  2. Drive traffic to the CRM website
  3. Get the downloadable brochures into hands of visitors

Real Solution

Real saw two primary challenges:

  1. How to gain media interest in downloadable tours in a crowded marketplace.
  2. Visitors arriving in Glasgow may not be near a PC or printer to access the documents.

The solution proposed was use a piece of technology called QR codes to provide a fresh media angle and a practical solution for visitors to Glasgow.

QR codes are essentially 2-D barcodes that are scanned through a camera in a Smartphone. They contain information such as a phone number, location, text or, as in this case, a URL pointing to a website or file. 

By using their mobile phone visitors can download the files directly to a handset without having to navigate a website. Over 450 types of phone can now access these codes.

Because this is a new technology to many consumers it was agreed to use this launch as a trial to gain a better understanding of the technology without losing the media angle. The availability of the tours from the Mackintosh website was a key message to ensure accessibility.

Real Activity

Real produced the QR codes using an online service provided by I-Nigma. The company was also contacted to make them aware of the activity and gain permission to use their easy access text service for people who wanted to check that their phone has QR reader capabilities.

QR codes for Charles Rennie Mackintosh in Glasgow

Custom pages on the website for each tour featuring QR codes that worked directly from the website.

Information and codes were supplied to Matthews Marketing to create cards that were distributed around the Mackintosh attractions in Glasgow. The cards showed the three codes along with instruction on how to download a QR reader.

A press release announcing the trial was created and placed with relevant Scottish media, tourism groups and travel writers.

The QR codes was story was featured in many gaining offline and online PR converage in publications including

Real Results

  • The QR codes distributed on the cards have been used over 250 times.
  • The Mackintosh Downloadable tour page has been accessed by over 2500 different visitors.
  • Both the number of pages visited and time spent on the Mackintosh site increased after the project.

While the QR codes were a trial the Stuart Robertson Chair of the Mackintosh Heritage Group was pleased with the initial results. In the Evening Times he said,

“The group is excited to be able to use modern technology to draw attention to one of the city’s oldest and most venerable attractions. But more may be on the way.We could have at one stage an MP3 downloadable version so that there is a narration of some description that people can listen to on their phone or iPod or what have you.”