Cal Poly Graphic Communication Institute

Cal Poly Graphic Communication Institute Media Study Reveals Preferred Methods of Delivery for Different Messages

The Graphic Communication Institute at Cal Poly (GrCI) published a new report that reveals preferred methods of delivery based on the type of communication. The findings also suggest that industry should focus on what the study terms “media verticals” rather than “market verticals.”

Authored by Harvey Levenson, GrCI director, the study is titled “What Does Media Mean to You?” and provides insight on the communication value of different media for different types of messages. Media options included books, catalogs, CDs/DVDs, electronic tablets, the Internet, magazines, movies, newspapers, printed advertisements, radio, smart phones and television.

One finding was that print is more desired across all demographics than originally anticipated, but not for all types of information. The report points out that industry has to realize the impact of digital media and use the print or digital media option that will maximize the recipients’ objectives — whether the recipient wants something memorable, that provides detail, is entertaining or educational, or helps in decision- making, or being informed.

The findings led Levenson to consider the concept of vertical markets. In the past, the concept of a vertical market was based on the method of delivery – an industry-centric definition based on products that printers and publishers provided. Levenson instead suggests the concept of a “media vertical” based on the end-user, which would compel the delivery method(s) selected be based on the type of message and the method of delivery deemed most efficient by the recipient.

“For traditional printers, publishers, and other service providers to be relevant in the future, they will have to diversify media product offerings,” said Levenson.

Responses were collected from 453 people, representing a broad range of age, gender, education and occupation.

Participants were asked six questions in regard to media choice:

- Which of the following is the best for helping you to remember information?

- Which of the following is the best for providing you with detail?

- Which of the following is the best for entertaining you?

- Which of the following is the best for educating you?

- Which of the following is the best for influencing your decisions?

- Which of the following is the best for informing you?

An Executive Summary is free. The 218-page report or can be purchased from GrCI in digital format or hard copy by contacting Institute Manager Lyndee Sing at 805-756-2645 or lsing@calpoly.edu.

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