One Sunday morning I sat across from my father over breakfast reading the news. He was holding the front page of The Philadelphia Inquirer, while I scanned the latest headlines on my iPad. He stopped reading and remarked on the fact that our position that morning completely epitomized what was currently happening to the media – a generational and inevitable switch from print to online press.
He then asked me if any of my friends read the paper anymore. I immediately responded yes, thinking he was going to make a comment about how my generation does not bother to keep up with the news. In fact, every morning before my classes I see The New York Times webpage on the laptop screens of my fellow students sitting in front of me. “No, physically reading the paper, holding it in their hands,” he emphasized. Well, no.
While my friends and I often talk about the latest headlines, we don’t flip through the paper in what my father describes as a “ritualistic” pastime. Yet, while that tradition has dwindled as more and more newspapers move online, I, as a college student who grew up with the Internet and social media, think that it would be shortsighted to say that print is dead.
In my time spent as a reporter for my college newspaper, I was most excited when I saw my first article printed in the paper, even though I had a handful of articles already posted to the newspaper’s website. It was satisfying to see tangible proof of my hard work. In the same way, at Devine + Partners, it’s exciting to flip through the pages of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia magazine and see our clients presented on paper.
What I’ve learned from monitoring the media during my internship is that what exists now is a push and pull. With Twitter, Facebook and blogs, there are multiple ways to share a piece of news, maximizing readership and extending across various demographics. One tweet about an article can promote readership, as it can prompt people to pick up a copy of the article or pull the story up online. And while the World Wide Web has created an immediate and instantaneous environment for media, stories also have an extended – sometimes infinite – shelf life. It’s an exciting time to be working in PR!
So, is print dead? No, no way! But more and more, it’s mission-critical to extend brand messaging across multiple media forums for the broadest reach.