Good Reading on a Cold Winter’s Day: Print is Still Alive

The days of getting your news, current trends, weather, and more via the newspaper that arrives at your doorstep every morning may be slowing down, as more and more consumers are gathering their news and information in a variety of different ways. The creation of the smartphone and never-ending advancements in smart technology has thrown a wrench in the plans of newspapers, magazines, and other printing sources in the United States and beyond… or so we think. 

 

Although 96% of Americans own cellphones, and 81% of those cellphones are smartphones, 90% of adults in the United States still read print magazines, and 75% still read print newspapers. It’s been seen that print has been in a steady decline, all while digital media is booming. There has also been a transformation of how publishers handle their publications and many are reevaluating the role print will play. Some publications are only produced less frequently than before, only printing a few times a week, month, or year, or they will go entirely paperless, transforming to digital. Although there are many changes happening, there are many reasons why print is still alive, and why it will continue to stay relevant and necessary for a solid marketing plan. 

 

The difference between print versus digital media is that print allows for a longer shelf life. Print often feels of higher quality and more personal than a digital message that is in a sea of a million others. This high-quality feel can land some printed publications on someone’s coffee table for months and garner a broader audience than expected. Digital stories make for a quick, convenient read, while print stories allow the reader to tangibly feel and more deeply engage in the story. Print allows more time for the consumer to become more curious, have a more active mental state, and really engage with the content. Print stories are easier to share, as they are tangible and don’t risk being lost in a message or email thread. They have a physical presence that welcomes readers to re-engage and share with their friends and family. 

 

Print and digital media can both survive in our media landscape of today. While print is surely going through a transformative period, publications are learning how to navigate the new digital-driven world, and they are still surviving. The trick to utilizing both print and digital media is making sure the advantages and disadvantages of both make sense for your company or organization and your overall goal.

Print Media

Pros:

  • Allows the reader to physically engage in the content
  • Draws in the reader with aesthetically-pleasing designs
  • Longer shelf-life; can be shared physically person-to-person, can be kept forever
  • Readers are more likely to buy printed publications
  • Consumers trust print advertisements 55 percent more than digital ones

Cons:

  • Not as fast of a turnaround time
  • Topics featured in print can’t share in a conversational community
  • Limited feedback; can’t easily measure results, ROI, etc.
  • A fast-paced society means difficulty with keeping information relevant, timely
  • In our highly-visual world, consumers no longer want to read, they want to listen and watch

Digital Media

Pros:

  • Allows a quick, convenient read; often contains main points of the article at the beginning for even more convenience
  • Ease-of-access draws readers in, gets to the point
  • Can be shared in a matter of seconds
  • Multiple platforms allow for a level of free advertisement (i.e., social media)
  • Easily measure your analytics and results

Cons:

  • Not easy to build brand awareness in a sea of a million other digital-only companies
  • Can be complicated — have you heard of SEO, social media campaigns, and more?
  • Bigger reach means more responsibility and less room for mistakes
  • Sometimes can compromise your privacy, depending on platform
  • If the Internet is down, your advertising is down, too

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