VR for PR - what’s the deal?

Virtual reality is predicted to get huge in 2016 and is already en route to make this the year of VR. What impact will this have on public relations and the future of storytelling? What should we be doing to keep up with the times?

VR is now accessible to anyone with a smartphone so it is gathering momentum fast. You can get a cardboard headset for just £3 so pretty much everyone will have access to it.

No need to panic just yet though as VR is still in relatively early stages. Take your time and get to grips with what VR can do – use it yourself and develop ideas. Whilst there is still some way to go, we have listed our initial thoughts on how VR will affect PR.

  1. Take journalists on a journey. As storytellers, VR gives us the opportunity to place journalists in the centre of your story without them physically having to go anywhere. This could be costly, but it’s a great way to grab their attention so they focus on your story.
  2. Make it shareable. With the increase in VR's popularity, more news sites are likely to want to share VR/360 degree content. We saw the same with video – if you can now support your story with an interesting video it's likely to be a winner.  The same will go for VR – New York Times already has its own virtual reality app for readers.
  3. Look at app development. Maybe an app is within the PR plan already. If it is… or even if it isn’t, consider how a VR app could work alongside the campaign but just make sure it’s not just a useless novelty that only the CEO will find interesting!
  4. Get emotive. Using VR you can really harness people’s emotions and put them in someone else’s shoes. Amnesty International used VR to transport people from Britain to the devastated streets of Aleppo in Syria which resulted in an increase in direct debit sign ups.

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