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Ammunition to Argue for Print

From Association Media & Publishing Sidebar enewsletter

Here’s some help on making your case for the power of print in a digital world.
By Liz Parker

Today, there is an imaginary competition between print and digital medias. What we do know is that each drives the other, and research consistently shows that there is not only room for print media—there is a need for it. You have surely heard the rumors and the myths; here are the truths.

Myth #1: No one reads magazines anymore.
Truth: 4 out of 5 adults read magazines—about 187 million people just in the U.S.

Myth #2: Young people will only receive information digitally.
Truth: 96 percent of adults under the age of 25 read magazines. People under 35 read more printed issues than those above 35 years old. In fact, shoppers aged 15-32 are the most heavily influenced by print.

Myth #3: Print is destroying the environment.
Truth: Print is actually good for the environment. Paper is a renewable resource. Although at first thought it might seem counter intuitive, toxic e-waste poses a real threat to the environment. Read more surprising truths about printing and the environment in this PBS report, "Is Digital Media Worse for the Environment than Print?”

Myth #4: People spend the most time online, not reading printed materials.
Truth: The average reader spends an impressive 43 minutes reading one printed magazine issue. And readers continually report that they are far less likely to use other media or take part in non-media activities as compared to when they are engaging in other forms of media, such as TV, Internet, or radio.

Myth #5: Print has lost popularity because of social media.
Truth: Since the founding of Facebook, magazines have gained more than a million readers. Almost 70 percent of readers have posted a magazine article on Facebook, and more than 6 in 10 have shared magazine content while chatting with friends on Facebook. On Twitter, almost 75 percent of users have followed a magazine, andthree out of four Pinterest users have followed a print publication or re-pinned content from print media.

Myth #6: Print advertising doesn’t work as well as it did in the past.
Truth: Print ads do work. True, they’ve changed and adapted, but the research shows that print ads outperform other media in driving positive purchasing intent and are key drivers of the media ecosystem. In fact, print advertising does an amazing job of driving online sales. A recent survey of the largest 100 U.S. magazines found a 439 percent increase in QR and other action codes. Print ads are ranked number-one when it comes to influencing customers to start an online search.

Since the inception of digital media, we have heard much about print becoming obsolete. Is print dead? The answer is no. The fact is, these rumors and myths are simply not true. Print media is alive and well, and now you have some recent statistics to back you up, if you need to make the case for print.

Liz Parker is publisher of Austin Pets Directory, printed by Shweiki Media.