Confessions of an iPad convert

In February, I blogged the question: does not having an iPhone or other smartphone make you a bad PR professional? I kind of didn’t have an answer, because I wasn’t sure how I felt. Well, now I have an answer: yes. And my solution? An iPad2.

Four months ago I said that I wasn’t sure if I was being as effective a PR practitioner as I could be without the right props. In my new role doing public television media relations and social media, I knew I had to work on my props. Immediately.

Why the iPad? I did my research to figure out which tool would work best for me. It’s a personal decision, based on more than the idea of jumping on a bandwagon or just wanting the latest toy for the sake of it.

iPhone: I knew the iPhone wasn’t for me. I enjoy having a phone that I can drop and not worry about breaking; or stick in my sports bra when I’m jogging (I know, TMI); or accidentally lose and not cost me hundreds of dollars. The iPhone would force me to put too many eggs in one basket, so to speak, and I didn’t like the idea of that.

Other smartphone: I had a Blackberry last year and didn’t like it. It was hard to set up initially. Figures, when I did get it set up and began liking it, I dropped it in the toilet. (Refer to “too many eggs in one basket” observation above.)

Netbook: Although I’m very fond of the size of netbooks, it wasn’t an ideal solution because I needed Internet access at all times. Mostly, I needed it at home, since so many places have public access to wifi. I certainly could set up Internet at home…but then what if I’m not home and also somewhere without public wifi?

Portability was also a top priority. I needed whatever I chose to be light, not awkwardly shaped, and always ready to be put into my bag and whisked away.

There are so many brands pushing their tablets and sort-of tablets. For me, the iPad was a clear choice, especially in light of the iPad2’s release. Apple makes dependable products and offers good customer service (even if you do have to be on hold for a little while). I got the 3G model, so I’m never without Internet access. The monthly plan is less expensive than home Internet. [The data plan is limited, however, so we’ll see how much data I use of my 30-day allotment. Will it be enough or not enough?] Getting the wifi-only model would defeat the purpose of getting an iPad; I could have gotten a netbook, which would have been less expensive.

The iPad has a camera, which is so important for social media managers. Photographs and short videos are the most important content on social media, so having the tools to produce both is essential. The note-taking app (i.e., word processor) is smart and simple (I’m blogging this as a note first). The entire device is fast and small and clean. It’s an excellent and ideal tool for any PR professional to have.

This post is dedicated to Laura, a new higher education marketer, who was in the same technology boat as I was several months ago. I hope this helps her!

P.S.: I got the white one.

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