Google’s Field Trip App Opens New Paths

Today, Google announced that Field Trip will grant free admission to 13 U.S. museums for a limited time. Never heard of Field Trip? Lets take a look at this app and its potential as a PR tool.

Field Trip (iOS and Android) was developed by Google’s Niantic Labs. It offers users location relevant information while on the move. The app runs in the background on your phone and can provide notifications when you are in close proximity to a “point of interest”. Currently the app groups points of interest into several broad categories including historic spots, museums, restaurants, and events.

The Potential

Open houses and company tours are special events that are designed to strengthen public opinion. Typically, PR pros use traditional media to publicize the event, however Google’s Field Trip provides a new opportunity to reach key publics.

The GPS activated notification service can help potential customers “discover” your company. How many times have potential customers walked by your company’s office and not realized it? Field Trip offers another avenue to digitize your brand.

Beyond simple GEO tagging, Field Trip offers brands a new channel for promotions. The app is a perfect platform for launching special “walk-by/walk-in” discounts and timed promotions. It is also available in 30+ languages which gives you more flexibility.

The Catch

Although you cannot petition Field Trip directly for a listing, SEO, social media mentions, and user feedback can increase the likelihood of getting your brand listed. Google also allows users to post new locations on Google+ and after an unknown magical number of “likes” Google will add the location to Field Trip.

Hopefully in the future Google will release more information regarding the submission of potential locations. In the meantime I would keep an eye on this app.

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