Last month I got into a dust-up with Tom Vannah, the editor of the Valley Advocate, after I wrote a letter to the editor complaining about the inserts that fall out of their paper each week. He replied to my letter angrily, suggesting that I, as a web publisher, didn’t appreciate the vast number of people who still get their news in print. Point taken. In the following weeks, I’m sure Vannah was thrilled to see two letters from readers who say they use the coupons and ‘rely on the savings to feed their families.’
Earlier this week in the WSJ, I read another story touting the power of print. This was from a series of ads commissioned by Magazine publishing executives, who want to point out to the world that like Mark Twain said, their death has been exaggerated. “We surf the Internet. We swim in magazines,” was the headline. “The Internet is exhilarating. Magazines are enveloping. The Internet grabs you. Magazines embrace you. The Internet is fleeting. Magazines are immersive. And both media are growing.”
Magazine moguls like Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone have committed to running these dramatic print ads in their editions front sections. But isn’t that preaching to the converted? I think a better strategy would be to run them as Google ads, since the target they are after are those techies who think magazines are boring.
These same people, however, are pretty pumped up about Apple’s new iPad device, since this is the one, many say, that will bring people back around full circle to magazine content. And the maggie men aren’t the only print advocates revving up their promotional engines.
The Newspaper Association of America is hammering home the message of how many people rely on them to bring the news. And local TV is also putting together a pitch, to convince these Internet types to stay tuned–they’re not dead yet either.