Print: Just Part of the Package

I’m a print addict, but I am under no illusion that I can improve the health of the printing industry by simply upping my dosage. That’s just too simple. We can’t just urge people to buy more print, we have to get them to buy print differently—as a vital part of the whole communications process. Those who both predict and lament the decline and possible demise of print are part of a long line of folks who got this technology evolution thing wrong. Television did not kill the movies, as many predicted. In fact, it now provides an even more diverse outlet for films. TV didn’t kill radio either, partly because TV does not offer a drive-time audience. These three communications technologies co-exist quite nicely. The same will be true with print and electronic communications, although just where and how that balance will be struck remains to be seen. Newspapers are now allowed to count certain online readers in their circulation audit. We put out 43,000 printed copies of our magazine, but we also have a wide variety of electronic products that are increasingly important profit centers. Most studies now show that print can effectively drive traffic to the Web and vice versa. That’s where the future of print lies—as an effective and integrated communications tool.