In the age of high digitization and social media, it is common to assume that digital media is the more preferred medium of consuming news and other information. However, it is widely considered that print media is the most trustworthy and reliable source of information, especially in a time of confusion and chaos.
In this blog post, we look Sappi Paper’s study on how and why and how print media is still the public’s go-to, and hence why the print industry plays a critical role in times like these (Sappi Papers 2020: online).
The first major point which they outline is the notion of credible and fake news; which has more and more become a topic of concern. Fake news has always been around, however with the rise of COVID in concurrence with social media, the media around global events has grown increasingly incorrect and misleading (Sappi Papers 2020: online).
“In a UK survey conducted in March, it was found that almost half of British adults had been exposed to false or misleading information about coronavirus” (Sappi Papers 2020: online).
It is so critical to stay informed about major events with credible, reliable and thorough information. This study refers to Ofcom and how they claim that two-thirds of people encounter fake news every day, and that they look to updates via social media or friends. That is why print media and traditional broadcasting has been preferred over social media and digital mediums. We are all aware of much information is pushed through online media channels every day – it is impossible to keep track of what is false and credible. From WhatsApp broadcast messages to IGTVs – truth has never been more important (Sappi Papers 2020: online).
Print in a Digital World
There is no doubt that we have felt at some point or another, bogged down by screen-time. From our laptops, to our phones to the TV –during a time of lockdown, it is vital to stay afloat and remain conscious of your screen-time. Taking breaks from any and all screens, going outside and engaging in stimulating activities such as reading a book or magazine can exponentially help a clouded mind from hours of screen-time (Sappi Papers 2020: online).
Sappi outlines two UK-based publishers and their statistics during COVID regarding the incredible rise in consuming magazines and puzzles (Sappi Papers 2020: online).
“The great thing is we’re seeing people still loving magazines in this challenging period, and in particular, we can see growth coming through from convenience stores,” said UK-based magazine distributor Seymour.(Sappi Papers 2020: online).
Isolation has done wonders for book sales, too. In the last week of March, Nielsen BookScan, a data provider for the book publishing industry, reported that dales of fiction rose by a third in the UK, while children’s education went up 234% to the third highest level on record. Puzzle books, handicrafts and true crime also saw sharp rises (Sappi Papers 2020: online).
Undoubtedly still the most effective way to get your brand out there, print remains a tether between your customer and brand in an age of digitization. Sappi refers to the eye-tracking specialists Lumen, and their survey that showed print advertising generated 21% more attention than the norm for the medium during 2020, as well as 88% of press ads run during the weeks of March 2020 were viewed compared with an average view rate of 75%. Two-thirds (66%) of viewable digital ads were noticed compared with an average of 55% for desktop digital tests conducted in the past six months (Sappi Papers 2020: online).
Ultimately, the importance of print during and outside global crisis and events is evident: there is a unique value in print media and the escapism, brand potential and a source of news.
Sappi Papers. 2020. The Importance of Print During the Pandemic. [Online]. Available: < https://www.sappipapers.com/insights/print-media/the-importance-of-print-during-the-pandemic>. [17/08/2021].