Don’t underestimate print in the digital age

Don’t underestimate print in the digital age

Thursday, August 28, 201429, by Century One

print magazine featured

Communication managers now have to approach their publishing and communications message with a multi-platform strategy.   It is a complex and evolving area. The expert media and digital dudes will advise on the intricacies of the media mix such as: media life cycle, tweeting, blogging, Facebooking, LinkedIn and the like.

With the advent of social media we live in a cluttered world, with lots of interruptions to our lives. You won’t know whether a particular person will go to your website or download your digital magazine in their busy and constantly interrupted day.

But, because you can guarantee that you will send that person a copy of your magazine, Print is still the best way to communicate with your members and readers. Amongst the noise this is one content vehicle that is guaranteed to be seen by members, and picked up and consumed at your audience’s convenience. Don’t underestimate the power of your print magazine.

The permanence of print
There is a stronger value to something that is tangible and tactile. It is likely to be browsed through at a time of the reader’s choice; it may be partly read and read again later. It may be read and tidied onto the book shelf along with your other issues, to be referred back to when needed. Your audience is more likely to return to it than digital content. A strong print publication can be reinforced with social media to engage your community and create conversation.

What’s more don’t forget that a printed magazine has a pass-on rate of its own: social sharing in action! An amazing 74% of CWU Voice (Postal edition) readers discuss the magazine content in the work place. And when IPEM surveyed their members they discovered Scope magazine was the highest rated of all their communications, with 85% reading it regularly.

Helping digital engagement
When you last looked at the digital analytics for your online magazine how reassuring were they? If you are a mainstream title they may be just about okay, but if you are a membership or business-to-business title I suspect they will be mediocre or poor. However, that is not to say your digital magazine does not have a role to play – digital as a whole is hugely important as part of the mix; but it takes time. It has a process of gestation as the user base grows.

When a new technology platform is launched is goes through an experimentation and adaptation phase. Investing in the right technology at the right time is key and all part of the communications mix. Interactive digital magazines and membership apps can act in tandem with your print. For example if you want to only reach women in the Midlands to join a live Twitter chat on pensions, a post-it note style tip-on, complete with hash tags can be placed in the print version. You are encouraging use of both mediums in an interactive and engaging way.

It is not a comprehensive approach to refer to a digital communications strategy alone. A viable communications plan is an integrated communications plan; after all both print and digital are the written word. Both have their strengths for particular situation, but print is still the most effective tool to reach your members. It can drive traffic to your social media channels, and it can start conversations. Your print magazine is the anchor for your communication.

Do you still have faith in your print title? Comment below and let us know how you integrate your digital and print communications.

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“Century One provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ package for magazine publishers encompassing design, advertising sales, production and distribution. This not only simplifies management and administration; it provides access to a design team that is not only resourceful, efficient and always on time, but full of creative enthusiasm and flair. Readers were not unhappy with the magazine before, but as one wrote recently: “What’s happened to Geoscientist? Suddenly it’s terrific!”Dr Ted Nield NUJ FGS, Editor, Geoscientist
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