Advocacy Tips & Tools—Using QR Codes to Reduce Shared Paper
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased use of Zoom and other virtual meeting services rather than face-to-face gatherings, welcoming handshakes, and the exchange of business cards. But what about meetings and outreach opportunities that continue to be held in person?
What are alternatives to passing brochures from hand to hand or holding up pieces of paper behind a plexiglass divider at an educational table? How can materials be exchanged while maintaining safe social distancing when travel and meeting restrictions begin to ease again?
AKC Government Relations utilized posters displaying QR codes to reduce reliance on paper materials at the 2020 AKC National Championship Dog Show. Instead of picking up paper handouts, visitors to the AKC GR booth could stop briefly, maintain social distancing, and simply hover their cell phone cameras over QR codes for materials they wished to view or save.
QR codes (or “quick response” codes—those square and rectangle images you find on products, websites, menus, etc.) are not new technology, and more recent alternatives exist. However, they offer a simple and reliable method of transmitting information electronically rather on paper. Most cell phone cameras can read and process the codes, and if a cell phone is not already equipped to read QR codes, there are online sources for free apps.
AKC clubs, federations, and advocates who wish to use this technology can use apps and free online resources to generate QR codes. A QR code can contain a limited amount of simple text, for example, the information on a business card or a brief message. It also can contain a URL or hyperlink to online content. Each QR code can be used to link to an online letter, flyer, brochure, photo, position paper, presentation, video, or other resource. For the more tech-savvy user, additional and more sophisticated QR code applications are available.
Because canine legislation spans a wide variety of topics, communicating about and expressing a position—especially on complex or multifaceted issues—can require more than a brief soundbite. In the past, we often relied on a 1-3-minute statement supplemented by flyers, brochures, and handouts to educate and advocate at hearings, events, and other outreach opportunities. QR codes offer a way to substitute a quick cell phone scan for a piece of paper and to provide access to a wider selection of materials.
AKC GR invites AKC clubs and federations to reproduce and use our Government Relations advocacy and educational poster with QR codes. It links to materials that are current as of 12/18/20.