Print is Still a Preferred Choice

What does print do to your information? According to a recent Two Sides North America survey, it does two specific things to us humans in our material world:

  1. It makes the information you publish more credible; and
  2. It makes a more enjoyable experience for your readers.

We talk about surveys and stats a lot around here; they can be really useful to understand what’s happening in the marketplace and how to manage your publishing strategy. But these two facts could be a mantra of sorts as I look at our own publishing strategy:

The information I publish in print is more credible to my readers,
and they enjoy reading it more in print than they do in digital.

In this age of mistrust and fake news, wouldn’t I want to do everything possible to boost my credibility with my readers? The trust bump of printed magazines has been well-documented, and there is a psychological reason why we value physical over digital. We’ve covered aspects of this survey report before, especially how consumers are increasingly skeptical about security online. But seeing it spelled out in such blunt terms really hammers the point home.

“Compared to digital, print provides a more emotional connection with the reader, allowing a deeper understanding of and engagement with the written word,” explains TwoSides’ Phil Riebel. “This is due to haptic feedback – the touch and feel of paper – and the fact that there is no artificial light or distracting pop-up notifications. This uncluttered aspect of print has value in our current world of endless digital information bombardment.”

Our preference for one medium over another is more human nature than conscious choice. Yes, we may choose a platform for convenience, prestige, ease, cost, or any number of factors – but our brains are hard-wired to consume information better in print.

Look, I am a card-carrying member of the digital age. I’m blogging, emailing, publishing on LinkedIn and leveraging the latest technology every day in the press room. Yet I’m still human, and that means I do value the physical over the digital, the lasting over the fleeting, the concrete over the pixelated. I publish in print, I advertise in print, send out marketing for our company in print and, every day, I work in an industry that embraces its value.

It’s great to see the “why” articulated so clearly. Why print? Because my readers find it more credible, and they enjoy it more. That’s quite enough. Maybe, with this kind of awareness, 2018 can be a year of embracing what actually IS in the publishing world, rather than what technology would have us believe. Print your message and see how well they respond.