Is Print Dead?

Is Print Dead - pel hughes print marketing new orleans la

“Is print dead?” seems to be one of those almost existential questions that has been asked over the past couple decades, with people expecting the answer to—at least at some point—be “yes”. We’re all aware of the digital age we live in and the importance of social media in our everyday lives. And naturally, as this age progresses and technology outpaces our realization of what’s actually happening, it should be expected that everything is will digital and print will die. 

But look around. Take a minute to think about where we are, what surrounds us, and what influences our lives. Print isn’t dead. It’s all around us, and has a very large impact on the decisions we make and our day-to-day interactions. 

Like most successful tools, print has managed to evolve and we are learning how to use it in tandem with digital communication mediums. Those who believe print is dead are really doing a disservice to themselves and their business. 


Growth and Progress 

The power of print in marketing and brand recognition has been undebatable for literally hundreds of years. However, in today’s digital landscape more and more consumers are getting their information online. According to a recent Pew Research Center study, 93% of Americans say they get at least some of their news online. This is forcing print to grow and progress in a way it has never had to in the past. 

Today’s print industry is going beyond the traditional standards and using many aspects of the digital world in their material. Incorporating custom branded apparel, or functional and highly influential promotional products are just a couple of the ways print is keeping its stronghold as an effective marketing tool. 

And while successful print campaigns are evolving and tailoring their messages, businesses are also capitalizing on the popularity and trust that kept print popular for so long. 


“The New ‘New Media’”

In a recent publication by the Columbia Journalism Review, the resurgence of print is hailed as “The New ‘New Media’”. Part of this claim is founded upon the notion that print has always held a key spot among the premier marketing tools, but even more so it’s based on the notion that print was only recently on the decline. It’s the resurgence that made it come back with even more force. 

As the digital age entered our lives, it was the new “cool” thing. However, consumers quickly realized that just because it may be easy to access, doesn’t mean it’s the best way to consume information or make informed decisions. In fact, in today’s culture, 90% of adults still read print magazines, and some of the most popular internet-based companies are actually making a shift to print media. 

For example, companies such as Bumble, Dollar Shave Club, Casper and even Airbnb have gotten on board with this new “new” media. These companies now publish Bumble Mag, Mel, Wolly Magazine and Airbnb Magazine, respectively. According to Samir Husni, director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi’s School of Journalism, “It’s sort of like print is becoming the validation of your brand.”

And this popularity is increasing when you consider many of the pitfalls of online and digital media that consumers face, such as privacy concerns. “It’s now cool to bring (print) back around . . .  When you think about data and privacy, and things happening online, think how simple and straightforward it is,” said Monique Lemus O’Brien, group director at The Media Kitchen. 

So, although the question “Is print dead?” continues to be posed in social media posts and news articles, it’s safe to say the answer is “no”. In fact, the nature of digital platforms and the trust that print media has built with consumers over time is making it even more significant than ever.