“People use the Web. They read paper.” – TJ Larkin
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Issue 24   February, 2015

Sue HornerDear Sue2,
Is print dead? It’s a question that circles back regularly, along with predictions that blogging or other formerly shiny toys are also on the way out. This issue of Wordnerdery talks about the latest responses to this question.
Sue's signature

Reports of print's death
are exaggerated

Author Harper Lee’s recently discovered book, Go Set a Watchman, will launch with an e-book and audio book – and two million print copies. Her original 1960 book, To Kill a Mockingbird, still sells more than a million hard copies a year.

Clearly, print is not dead. Here are some of the reasons why:

Print is not dead on billboard
  • Understanding and retention are greater with print than online communication, says Shel Holtz, ABC. In a post on predictions for internal communications in 2015, including “Print will re-emerge,” he adds that even younger demographics prefer reading longer text in print.
  • With print, “the stickiness of your message is much higher,” says Business2Community. That’s because it stays in front of people longer, “unlike emails or web pages that can easily be clicked past or sent to the trash.”
  • People are more engaged when reading printed material, says Forbes, whereas websites “are often skimmed in as little as a 15 second visit.” The article advises businesses to use “as many channels as possible” to reach the target, and don’t exclude print.
  • Do you have remote and in-house employees with limited access to laptops and computer terminals? Print remains popular for both groups, reports Ragan Communications in a piece on the use of email. Asked to pick the channels that best build awareness of important information, 81% of companies surveyed chose print publications.
  • Compared with paper, computer screens may “drain more of our mental resources while we are reading and make it a little harder to remember what we read when we are done,” says Scientific American.
Of course, it's not either/or. A roundup of marketing strategies from MarketingProfs notes that 76% of small businesses say their ideal strategy “encompasses a combination of both print and digital communication.” As with any kind of communication, the key is to identify your readers and how they want to receive their information.

What do you think – is print dead? Hit "reply" and let's chat. And let me know if you'd like help creating your own print or digital communications.

Images: 'Print is not dead' billboard by Colormetrix. Sue by Chris Salvo,

Related links

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Reading a print book increases comprehension

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