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Push Notifications: The Home Screen Advantage

The Wall Street Journal reported that start-up app company, Yo, recently received $1.5 million in venture funding valuing the company between $5 and $10 million – an amount simply for allowing people to push the message “YO” to the mobile device of their friends.

At first glance I thought, “Oh, no – is this the Internet Bubble Part II?” Maybe to the extent Yo is warranting a multi-million dollar valuation and probably doesn’t have any revenue.  However, in thinking more about it, I realized that given what Yo represents in the context of 21st Century technology, the answer was no.

As the Wall Street Journal said, the importance of Yo is the push notification – the alert that takes advantage of the native operating systems of iPhones, iPads and Android mobile devices and suddenly appears on the home screen of these devices even when they are locked or in sleep mode.  Push notifications represent the ability to cut through the clutter of the hundreds of emails that we receive and that we have become accustomed to spending hours deleting on a daily basis.

As a consultant to the communications industry for more than 15 years, the push notification as a communications tool is game changing.  Up until now, we have had to rely on strategies like media relations to get others to make our point for us with the hope that our targets will read or view what is written; to attend conferences to present our story to a finite audience;  to create websites that we pray our audience(s) will proactively seek out; or to pay significant sums for advertising to ensure that our messages aren’t distorted.  Push notifications represent a new communications method via mobile technology and offers a new way to connect with our targeted audiences in a direct and personal way.  All we now need to figure out is how to get our audiences to download apps we or our clients create and then opt-in to receive the push notifications.

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