How Relevant is Print Media Today?

December 10, 2019
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There are so many ways to advertise your business. With technological advances like the internet and social media, the way we promote ourselves and our businesses has drastically changed. With every aspect of our lives going digital, is print media still relevant? Continue reading to learn some pros and cons of using print media as part of your advertising strategy.

Pro: Trusted and Widely Circulated

Print advertising such as newspaper ads, magazine ads, and other promotional materials such as flyers are viewed as a more classic way to advertise. According to, “The estimated total U.S. daily newspaper circulation (print and digital combined) in 2018 was 28.6 million for weekday and 30.8 million for Sunday, down 8% and 9%, respectively, from the previous year.” Americans enjoy and trust print media. It provides a sense of nostalgia and has more value for readers from older generations.

Pro: Cost and Lifespan

It seems like every time you are in a waiting room there always seems to be a magazine or newspaper lying around. Printed materials typically have a more significant lifespan than digital media. You scroll through your social media pages and pass 20 ads in 5 minutes and those ads may only be viewed by the consumer for a matter of seconds. Magazines and newspapers are typically kept much longer. This provides opportunities for ads to be viewed more frequently and for a greater amount of time. Cost is also another factor. Although costs may vary depending on the type of publication, advertising via print is often quite affordable. Whereas, with digital advertising being so new, it can get expensive to run a full digital ad campaign if you aren’t careful.

Pro: Targeted Audience

Depending on the type of product or service you offer, you may be looking to target a specific group of individuals. This can be done very easily through print media. For example, a company that sells golf equipment may want to advertise with popular magazines that many golf enthusiasts enjoy and have a subscription for. With the thousands of magazines available to consumers, there is a publication almost any business could advertise with.

Con: Decline in Readership

Even though people still enjoy reading print media, circulation is down from previous years. According to the U.S. Print Media Industry, “Circulation numbers peaked in 1987 when they amounted to over 62.82 million. In 2018, the paid circulation of daily newspapers was 28.6 million.” Digital marketing and social media have proven to be a tough opponent for print media.

Con: Rates and Lead Times

Although newspaper advertising is still viewed as quite cost-effective, magazine advertising has become more expensive in recent years due to a decline in readership. Your return on investment may not be as high by utilizing print media. Furthermore, lead times are much slower for printed media. With weekly and monthly mailing dates, your message may not be pumped out as frequently as it could be with digital media.

Con: Cluttered Landscapes

Unless you are willing to pay for full-page advertising every time you utilize print media, you face having to share space with other companies. With publications working to cram in as many advertisers who are willing to pay, your company’s message may be lost in the clutter. Your ad may also not stand out when presented next to other ads.

In conclusion, using print media along with digital and other advertising practices is an effective way to not only reach a broader audience but show the diversity and flexibility your business possesses. Now that you have a better understanding of the importance of print media, make sure you have a strong plan for digital marketing. Here is a great resource for defining your digital marketing plan.