The Crucial Blog
Hold the front page
DROP the dead dongle, hold the front page....
Sorry, got carried away, but do start the presses again. Whilst local newspapers rein in, regroup and relocate to counter the effects of readers and advertisers rushing online, businesses are embracing the new old world.
Majoring, as we do, on helping companies to spread their news to their staff as well as the outside whirl, we can report that there is a steady stomp back to printed publications as bosses realise that online can also mean out of sight.
Certainly firms are firmly wwwell up there still, and there's no doubt that the number of people seeking their daily news via the internet is large and rising. But surfing at your leisure - even if that's in work time - is one thing. Being force-fed company chatter is not so tasty.
We all do just about everything via a keyboard now, which makes a hard copy company mag or rag 'suddenly' an attention grabber. What's this? Something you can read while you're relaxing away from your desk and show your friends and family without making them cringingly cluster round your laptop or smart phone? Revolutionary.
As lightly seasoned hacks, who enthusiastically embrace the internet age just like everyone else, we have watched with interest how the tide has changed, and changed it has. Corporates are coming back to print to engage their workforce, and posting the hard copy online.
We have long cautioned clients about putting their all their communication eggs into one internet basket, and they listened, naturally. But round the world, computer became king, and prints less charming.
Clearly, once they had their shiny new expensive websites and intranets, companies wanted to use them. Computer clout has indeed been magnificent - qwerty quick communication to the masses, touch button engagement, big, bright, brash and beautiful.
Having shelled out on the means to communicate thus, it also seemed to make sense, on paper, to axe printing costs by moving the cherished company publication online only.
Oh no, no, nooooooo!
For starters, smart companies have independent experts producing their newspapers and magazines. It carries more weight and has more clout.
For seconds, once you move the publications online only, they are viewed as part of the company information-churning machine, and lose some credibility, as well as in-your-hand impact. And if not all of your employees have their own work computers, don't even go there.
What's more, wonderful though the ether world is, it is crammed to the Cloud with information. Your average worker with a PC will get yawnsome shedloads of business blah every day and frankly, however employee of the month they are, they can't help but turn off.
Of course there's a big, big place for computer-based comms and intranet ideology - I'm not delivering this to you on parchment. But don't underestimate the power of the printed word.
It's quite nice to read about your workplace achievement on screen, but it's a real treat to hit the headlines in a publication you can take home to thrill your nearest and dearest and show your pals. And granny can frame your triumphant splash.
When you read about your business' achievements, or want to broadcast new products to customers, it has fresh impact in a printed product you can enjoy in eye-balming time away from the screen. You've already been a legend in your own lunch time, tip tapping away into Twitter. Sitting down with An Actual Newspaper is now a relaxing novelty.
Moreover, print gives the messenger more space to be creative. Online, your eye-catchingly designed page is only as big as your reader's screen.
If you're eager for staff and clients to get your message then be aware that research shows that people retain information more readily if they read it in print, rather than watching it floating across the screen like moving wallpaper. By the way - put that camera phone down if you want to remember that must-snap moment in detail.
The best message of all is that when you gift a publication to your workers or your buyers, it shows that you didn't just press send, you cared enough to invest thought, time and money in them.
PS: Do feel free to print this.