Print Still Matters – Part 1
January 12, 2016

Last week, I was invited to speak at the 2016 New York Times Travel Show about whether print still matters. So it won’t surprise you to learn that on a panel full of editors and publishers that were all shouting loudly and positively as to why: Print Still Matters!

But let me go a step further and repeat what someone said to me recently, which really sums it all up:

“Paperless media is about as likely as the paperless toilet.” i.e. It’s never going to happen…

Yes, we are all looking at our devices – at what seems like 26 hours a day (if my kids are anything to go by), but that doesn’t mean that print doesn’t matter. Print does matter. Storytelling matters, dreaming of foreign travel and making new discoveries matter and print is pivotal to all of these things at a deeply emotional level.

Guide books, holiday brochures, travel supplements, maps, travel and inflight magazines. They all matter. And they all have been proven to be very effective for travelers for many many years.

So thank you to PanAM, for inventing inflight magazines in 1966 and NOW 656 million passengers a year interact with the media that we create on behalf of our airline and rail partners.

But back to the point in hand.

Why does print matter today in the face of a younger, faster and possible more fashionable way of sending out information? What makes print and digital different for business and leisure travellers?

For 3 reasons:

Number 1 – No distractions

Print means: no distractions or horrible interruptions; not even a low battery or bad signal to worry about….

It’s just intimate and static; beautifully created images and words combined together at high quality.  Perfect….. Easy….. Simple….

All we have readers “deep reading” and “deep thinking”. Fully engrossed, inspired and fully engaged.

Just think: no small screened digital device bombard us with: emails, phone calls, selfies, bills, breaking news, directions, tweets, posts, and dates.

Ahhhh… Bliss…

Number 2 – Authority

Since 1440 – print media has been a trusted source for information and news. And because print is fixed – it carries greater authority and gravitas. Years and years of building that confidence and reputation with publications like the New York Times has put print in good standing today. But basically, people like to be able feel the real paper AND that physical bond inspires confidence. It has Authority.

Number 3 – Inspiration

Magazines and adverts – deliver inspiration; in a recent poll it was found that 82% of readers in Germany judged magazines as the best place for suggesting new ideas (Print Wirkt, 2015). And it’s this inspiration that leads to an action or a purchase. 45% of respondents of an IPC survey indicated that the magazine has inspired them to purchase an advertised product.

I want to be clear and precise: so here is a fun video which is more succinct and entertaining than I could ever be….

Stay tuned for the second post from my presentation Print Still Matters.

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