Friday, April 22, 2005

If it's print media, it better be precious.

Smart media planners and buyers know that numbers are just one part of the story. But with print media, I think numbers are even less important.

Why? Because I think the only print vehicles that are going to thrive in the years ahead are the ones that feel precious. In fact, I think if a print vehicle isn't precious, it's dead. There is just too much information available elsewhere. Rather than measure the sheer numbers and demographics, there needs to be more thought about the commitment of the readers. It's not just weekly versus monthly versus daily. And it's not just narrow niche versus mass. When you're asking people to pay for that printed material, it's about connecting with an audience in a deep, meaningful way. Who do I think will live or die?

Daily newspaper. Dead. (And I love newspapers, so this one hurts. Note: Seattle P-I was randomly selected as a perfectly average example of a perfectly average daily newspaper.)

Sunday New York Times. Not dead. (As long as a desire to feel intelligent after a boozy Saturday night doesn't wane.)

Vogue, Elle, etc. Alive, unfortunately. (Fashion just seems so mean sometimes, but it's not going away.)

Time, Newsweek, US News & World Report. Dead. Really dead. Not even worth linking.

The New Yorker. Very much alive.

Backpacker, Transworld Snowboarding, Golf Digest. Enthusiast pubs are a no-brainer. Alive and kicking. (Note: I'm getting tired of making links so I'm stopping now.)

Adweek, Advertising Age. A slow, painful death.

Dwell, Metropolitan Home. Alive. Dreams need reference.

Here's a number that I think print media planners should start asking for: average number of days it takes for a publication to go from a reader's hands to the blue recycling bin.


Anonymous Gerah said...


The whole mission of my new job is to promote print media. Now I really don't know what the heck I'm doing.

Pardon me, I have to go compose a letter of resignation... Okay, so maybe I'm not going to quit my job right this minute, but you do have me worried that I'm putting forth too much effort to promote something that has gone the way of the DoDo.

5:58 AM  

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