“Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” said Mark Twain, and the same might be said for print media. Legions of pundits, communications professionals, and even journalists themselves have pronounced traditional media dead or at best on life support. Yet there are indications, including Newsweek’s relaunch, that the printed word remains a viable force for communicating news and therefore should still be part of your communications mix. Here’s why:
Credibility – The printed word today still has some of the strongest credibility of any media among readers. Well-established newspapers, newsletters, and magazines are viewed as better researched and more reliable than online news sites or blogs, particularly because they are written by professional journalists and news writers. Sources on the Internet include a much broader and not always credible group. As a result, your press articles, as compared with ads or Internet news, generally carry more weight. In fact, print frequently co-stars in TV ads to prove an advertising claim. For example, an ad for Centrum Silver multi-vitamins, which aired on The Weather Channel, highlighted consumer surveys naming Centrum as best in its class. In case viewers doubted the voice-over, the segment included newspaper images headlining the Centrum survey. In this instance, print was the credible, trustworthy source.
The Power of Habit – Long-established sections of leading print outlets are read daily by millions in the business community. If your story is there, it’ll be found.
Targeting – Online media can micro-target, but respected print outlets still have an edge in reaching business leaders and top decision makers. Here’s a perfect example: the recent Cadillac ELR V spot. Though controversial, the spokesperson is the essence of the top business executive you may want to reach. On the material front, the man’s got everything—huge contemporary home, lap pool, art collection, perfect suit. And what’s in his hand for the first half of the commercial? A NEWSPAPER!
Engagement – The online environment, by its nature, is distracting with pop-ups, banners, videos, comments and sidebars. Print, while not as visually dynamic, encourages focus.
Durability – Yes, online content lives forever, but to find it requires a cyber search. Your print story stays readily accessible in the real world.
What are you doing with print? Share your experiences with us.
While the future of print is questionable at best, today’s multi-generational consumers of media still get their news via many different platforms. Be sure you reach them effectively by putting your messaging in as many places as possible—including print.