Six Reasons to Embrace QR Codes

You’ve seen microscopic ones on shampoo bottles, medium ones in magazine ads, large ones on car bumpers, huge ones on buildings and banners. Those funky little squares that you capture with your phone or tablet to access a web site, coupon or promotion are everywhere. Do you know how to create your own QR (Quick Response) Code or why they’re so great?

In less time than it takes you to read this post you can create a 2D bar code for free.

1. They are so easy to generate!

This QR Code on a poster provided information on Random Act of Kindness Day. Added value without added cost.
  •  Type “QR Code Generator” into your search engine
  •  Select one of the many options.
    I’ll use  because they had over 5,000 ‘Likes’, a ton of choice, an extremely easy interface, far more info than I will provide here.
  •  Select the data type, i.e. where you want to direct your audience. This can be a web-site, Facebook Page, LinkedIn, Twitter, You Tube video or channel, etc…. I’m sure the list grows almost daily
  •  Input the url or the data (cut and paste, so easy). Christina Keffer on advises that you shorten your link for an easier to read and less dense code.
  •  Choose the colour you want. Who knew they don’t have to be black and white?
  • Download, Print or E-mail your QR code
  • Test

The steps are similar at This site has fewer options but is extremely simple to use and allows you to choose the size of your QR Code. For a more beautiful QR code with rounded edges, etc. try

Regardless of how you generate your code, once you have it you can imprint on everything from chocolate to t-shirts to stickers and rubber stamps. You can include these on any kind of promotional item imaginable. (Although I think the value of the chocolate would be fleeting.)

QR Codes also:

  1. Immediately drive your audience to specific content
  2. Add value without cost: You can link the code to a coupon or promotion instead of a web-site
  3. Streamline content: Cut down on text required on event poster or flyers
  4. Lower costs and are more sustainable than refreshing print collateral: you don’t need to reprint flyers, business cards, etc. you just change the content on the link
  5. Are trackable: You can’t track views of a poster or a flyer, you can track QR codes on Google Analytics. explains how.

For your next professional or volunteer gig, think about the ubiquitous QR Code as another great tool in your communications arsenal. I’d love to know how you’ve used QR codes for your organization.

Published by Dominique O'Rourke

Public Affairs professional, City Councillor, MA Leadership graduate, problem solver and lifelong learner.

8 thoughts on “Six Reasons to Embrace QR Codes

  1. so timely!!! i was wanting to investigate QR codes before doing up my business cards! thanks for sharing all of your wonderful tips – wordle and now qr codes!!!! Thanks!!

    1. I’m not a real techie – I can’t write code and I’m always scared to “break” something on the Internet, but I get a real sense of accomplishment when I master some of this stuff. They are fun, easy and powerful tools. Glad this came at a good time although I’m running out of favourite web-tools 🙂

  2. About a year ago I pitched the use of a QR code to one of my clients who snapped back at me “No body ever uses those things! Forget it!” How wrong they were. Today I grabbed a banana for my daughters snack and found a QR code to a site with recipes and associated products. QR codes are an easy and terrific tool, however I believe that the power of the QR code must be used wisely. QR Code on banana peel = Cute, interactive marketing campaign. QR Code on billboards by the side of the road = Possibly not the safest strategy. Just my personal take, but then what do know about such things…just ask that client of mine! lol.

    1. Too funny, Yvonne. I agree they’re not optimal everywhere. There is a miniature one on the bottle of kids shampoo which is puzzling because when I’m using the shampoo on little kids I’m up to my elbows in lather – not exacly like I’m going to grab my phone at that very moment 🙂 Let me know when those banana recipes are ready 🙂

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