Mail’s Ability to Overcome Isolation Situations

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There are unfortunately some situations that require people to be isolated or removed from normal social settings, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. In these situations, communication shifts away from interpersonal, and instead relies on content that can be delivered. Print communication is the most successful means to reach people during these times, as discussed in “Why Print Matters in A Crisis,” and that means mail is how that communication is delivered.

Now there are many that would say mail is successful during these times because print is that powerful. However, mail’s ability to overcome isolation situations and other crises is not limited to when it is delivering print publications. Many organizations thrive off print in normal times, such as Amazon. Others incorporate mail services, such as grocery stores, as a means of survival during times when people cannot come to their location. In general, while print is a powerful mailed form of communication, mail is equally as powerful for its own reasons.

Mail provides the personal connection that is lost when people are isolated from each other. In a digital age where so much interaction happens online or in a passive stance, human engagement is already a sought-after communication, and one much appreciated. Mailing something to someone hits that sentiment, and whatever is mailed often provides a sense of joy, curiosity, or excitement. This is why so many publishers have started incorporating the idea of subscription boxes for additional revenue.

Mail also comes at an affordable price, when done correctly. Due to the normalcy of delivered goods, people are accustomed to paying delivery fees and surcharges that allow businesses to mail and still turn a profit. In times of isolation, where mail is the only means of getting physical goods, the margins multiply as quantities go up, and most mailing organizations drop prices for mailing in bulk. This allows publishers to get their content or mailed goods out as they normally would, and maybe even at a discounted rate.

In times of isolation, people also engage more with their mail than usual. Due to less stimulus from other people and social settings, and over-stimulus from digital settings, people tend to spend more time with the content sent via mail. Adding the fact that 90% of financial and purchase decisions are made at home, results in a simple conclusion: during isolation situations, mail has an increased chance to reach decision makers and potentially generate a sale/subscription/action.

When it comes to content delivery, the combination of print and mail is a powerhouse, even when isolation is not in play. When it is though, there is no better way of reaching audiences or consumers, especially if you are a publisher.

Further Information

To learn more about how to incorporate subscription boxes into a publisher’s strategy, click here. For more information about crisis events being ideal for mail, click here. If you would like more great content from Publication Printers and the Publication Printers Marketing Group, click here.

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Why Print Matters in A Crisis

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Crisis communications is a special type of information delivery meant to ensure audiences remain well informed and up-to-date, even during the worst of times. Whether it is preparing for difficult business situations or unfathomable world events, a crisis communications plan is a big part of any organization’s strategies, and they all bear one thing in common: print information delivery.

Print is one of the oldest and most versatile media in existence, and here are 7 reasons why it remains a core part of the most critical form of communication in times of upheaval.

  1. Printed content can be produced at extremely low cost and with limited technology. This means that it is easy to generate printed information under dire circumstances, and to generate the content en masse. Further, no technology is required to consume printed content, ensuring there are no barriers to delivering information in a crisis.
  2. Millennials, currently the largest generation, are print’s largest advocates. While they do consume a great deal of content online, they prefer printed communications, particularly newspapers and magazines, for news and factual content.
  3. Results from numerous research surveys from major data companies show that content consumers put more trust in print communications. The answers often show the “why” relating to journalistic and professional history of print, while digital content’s history is focused more on recreation and entertainment.
  4. Localized information delivery is still owned by magazines and newspapers. This means that, when crisis occurs, people will turn to the resources that are already serving their communities.
  5. The lifespan of digital messages and information is very short, due to the immense amount of content online and the frequency with which it is created. Print, which is built for mass information delivery that satiates information needs for a longer span of time, will continue to inform people long after the digital message has aged out.
  6. Print can smoothly transition to digital, but digital cannot smoothly transition to print. Anything produces for print development can be swapped over to digital, immediately allowing the expansion of the delivery and message. Digital-first content requires significant effort to prep for print, making it more expensive and difficult to broaden the reach of the message in a crisis.
  7. Receipt of print information is one of the few things that nearly every person in the U.S.A. opts in to, by choice. Every home and business has a registered address that, in times of crisis, can be used to deliver information, even on the generic level of “to resident.” This means print can reach any home and building, if needed.

Further Information

To learn more about the top assumptions of digital communications, click here. For top facts about print being alive and well, click here. More information about crisis communications strategies and resources can be found here. You can also find a comparison between print and digital here.

If you would like more great content from Publication Printers and the Publication Printers Marketing Group, click here.

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2020 Will Still See Newspaper Advertising, and for Good Reason

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Print advertising is big money. That said, recent advancements in social media and web ad placement have led to concerns about the state of print advertising, especially newspaper ads, the most common and most profitable print advertising space. While the concerns are fair, newspapers have nothing to worry about, and here are 5 points that prove it.

  1. Newspapers reach an average of 105 million readers a week in print and digital format, making them the most consumed medium.
  2. Content consumers consistently mark in surveys that they trust print content and advertisement more than online content. Also, print advertisement has a lesser negative impact on the reader’s experience, since online marketing is interruptive in nature.
  3. Millennials are the biggest generation currently consuming content, and while they are big proponents of digital content, they actually choose print as their main source of information due to its affordability.
  4. While the primary point of purchase is shifting more and more towards web sales, but most purchasers continue to start their journey towards a purchase based on print advertising exposure. That means that, while the journey ends elsewhere, it is still starting predominantly with print ads.
  5. Local content and local  economic impact are really important elements of American culture today, small communities rely heavily on local newspapers, with an average of 67% of small community residents reading the local paper at least once a week.

Further Information:

For more data and facts showing the security of newspaper advertisement in the New Year, click here. For newspaper ad types, tips, and examples from a thriving California publisher, click here.

If you would like more great content from Publication Printers and the Publication Printers Marketing Group, click here.

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Property Brothers, Meredith Partner for New Magazine

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There are a lot of skeptical publishers asking themselves if launching a new print magazine is worth the risk. While the answer may not be that easy to determine, there are plenty of other content producers that are excited about the idea of print in helping to broaden their brands. HGTV’s Property Brothers are one such content producer.

Drew and Jonathan Scott, twin brothers and the faces of Property Brothers, have recently announced a partnership with Meredith Corporation to create a new lifestyle magazine centered around home content and more. According to the President of Meredith Magazines, Doug Olson, the Scott brothers extending their reach through print is an obvious decision: “Drew and Jonathan have a unique connection with customers that will translate well into print.”

For the Scott brothers, while this venture is another step in expanding their Property Brothers brand, they also feel that print itself is a valuable medium, and the choice of creating a print magazine was a deliberate next step. “We love print and have always wanted to extend our message of living life to the fullest through this medium,” says Jonathan. “With a platform like this, we get to develop a consistent and thoughtful way of sharing great ideas and actionable insights with our audiences,” adds Drew.

The new magazine is not only a sign of success for the Scott brothers, but also for magazine publishers in general. Recent years have not been easy for the magazine industry, as many titles have struggled, but the resurgence of print due to other content producers seeing print as an opportunity is helping revitalize the industry. Meredith in particular has seen many major titles disappear, and also had major employment changes, and a new title of this caliber is a great sign of growth for them, and follows in the footsteps of another HGTV duo, Chip and Joanna Gaines, who also work with Meredith on their quarterly Magnolia Journal magazine.

“We’re extremely excited about taking the chemistry [the Scott brothers] share with their millions of viewers onscreen to new and existing audiences in the print medium.” says Olson.

HGTV has magazines with several major publishing groups other than Meredith. According to Adweek’s 2018 Hottest (print) Home Magazine, Hearst currently owns that spot with HGTV’s own HGTV Magazine, which according to Hearst, has more than 1 million subscribers and is in the top 10 of monthly newsstand magazines. If Meredith can leverage the new magazine from the Scott brothers, and their other titles related to HGTV starts, they may mirror or even exceed these numbers.

The new quarterly
magazine from the Scott brothers and Meredith, which has yet to be named, will
be releasing in January 2020. At newsstands, the cover price will be $9.99, and
an annual subscription will be $20.

Further Information:

To learn more about the
new magazine from the Scott brothers and Meredith, click here. For
more information about the Scott brothers’ TV show Property Brothers, click here.

If you would like more
great content from Publication Printers and the Publication Printers Marketing
Group, click here.

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2019: Awards and Recognitions for Publication Printers Corp.

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For more than 40 years, Publication Printers has been carving its niche in the publication printing world. During those years of growth and progress, we have earned recognition not only as a printing company, but as an organization in general.

To showcase capabilities, and to also help the publishers we partner with, Publication Printers enters into several annual print competitions. These shows provide us the opportunity to showcase our work, and continue to prove our place in the industry as a world-class printer. Here is a quick rundown of our results in 2019 so far:

Publication Printers Takes Home “Best of Show” and more from WSPA:

The Western States Printing Alliance is one of many regional print association chapters across the United States, and the chapter in which Publication Printers participates. They host an annual award contest for the best works of the year in numerous categories, and also crown one submission as the Best of Show. Publication Printers submitted 6 entries in total, and brought home 5 awards!

  • Best of Show Award (comes with automatic entry for the Benny awards at PIA!)

Category: Heatset Web Magazine (swept the category)

  • Gold Award
  • Silver Award
  • Bronze Award

Category: Catalog

  • Silver Award

Further Information

To see the awards Publication Printers brought home in 2018, click here. If you would like more great content from Publication Printers, click here.

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New Magazines from Unlikely Sources

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The print industry has had some strange movement over the past decade, especially in the magazine landscape. That said, print has never “died,” nor will it do so a very long time, if ever. The proof is that, while the dynamic of how to make magazines profitable has altered drastically, there are more magazines today than there were 10 years ago. A lot more, in fact!

One of the biggest sources for this boost in new magazines is from the least likely of places: digital and online service organizations. In their industry, print is an uncommon form of distribution, and a way to exercise a unique marketing opportunity. It also allows them to venture into the world of content distribution that, on their digital and online platforms, may not fit their model. Here are two perfect examples.

Case Study: Dating app “Bumble”

Bumble is a popular social and dating app that has been around for almost 5 years. It is a mobile-only application designed to shake up the gender norms re: woman and dating rules, allowing women a place to connect for dating, networking or meeting online. Just recently though, Bumble decided to broaden its focus beyond just connecting people and facilitating communication, by developing a print lifestyle magazine.

The magazine focuses on content related to what brings users to Bumble: dating, careers, friendships, and partnership. They even went so far as to create 4 sections in the entire magazine into 4 sections, labeled “You First,” You + BFFs,” “You + Dating,” and “You + Bizz.”  The print publication is exclusive to Bumble’s 50+ million users at the moment, with free copies able to be requested on the app, but the potential for it to scale into the general reading market is likely based on the contributors.

Case Study: Travel site Airbnb

Airbnb took the world by storm by offering an in-house solution to hotels and motels; connect people willing to lend their homes out with people needing short-term vacation rentals, business trip housing, or other travel accommodations. The company focused on helping travelers have creature comforts and feel at home while on the go,  and they expanded that in 2017 with a print publication.

The content leverages anonymous user activity on the Airbnb website to determine locations, events, trips, and travel ideas that are popular, and then crafts custom content for the publication on those topics. It not only provided new revenue options for the already thriving company, but answered a lot of questions that current Airbnb users were asking, and could not find answers to elsewhere.

Further Information

For more detail on about Bumble’s print magazine, click here. You can also check out this article about Airbnb Magazine.

If you would like more great content from Publication Printers and the Publication Printers Marketing Group, click here.

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Print is ALIVE & WELL

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10 Facts to Support Your Sales Efforts

  • Print publications are considered the most trusted news and content sources in the USA, with a 72% approval rate, higher than TV news, websites, and social media coverage. (Mediashift)
  • 95% of people under the age of 25 are reading magazines, with an average of an hour spent with each new issue, better than the average of 15 seconds a user spends on a website. (Magazine Media Factbook)
  • Print provides a tactile experience that is proven to increase engagement, memory of content, and sense of quality. (Sappi Paper)
  • 70% of Americans enjoy reading printed magazines even though they know they could find most of the same information online. (State of the Media Democracy from Deloitte Research)
  • Despite the vast amount of electronic and digital technology, print is still the favored medium across all age groups for reading and safekeeping of documents. (IPSOS; Two Sides; and Print Power)
  • In the U.S., more than 65% of paper was recycled, making it the most recycled commodity. (American Forest & Paper Association)
  • Private tree farmers average planting 4 million trees a day, 3-4x what is harvested a day for all uses, not just paper. (International Paper, Go Paper, Grow Trees website)
  • There are 20% more trees in the U.S. today than there were on the first Earth Day celebration in 1970. (American Forest & Paper Association)
  • Over 30% of digital transactions have an origin point that can be traced to print media. (PWC)
  • 66% of paper comes from sawmill scraps, wood chips, and recycled paper. Only 1/3 requires cutting down trees, and PPC only chooses paper that was responsibly farmed. (U.S. EPA/Choose Print)

Further Information

If you would like more great content from Publication Printers and the Publication Printers Marketing Group, click here.

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2018: Awards and Recognitions for PPC

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Publication Printers has grown a great deal from its humble beginnings in 1979. With that growth has come recognition not only as a printing company, but as an organization in general.

One of the most important things we can do as a company is to see how our brand has changed and how the industry sees us as a whole. There is no better way to do that than to look back at the awards, accolades, and recognition we received. Here is a quick rundown of 2018:

Colorado Biz names PPC 26th top Colorado private business:

The Colorado Business Magazine, more commonly known as Colorado Biz, puts out an annual list of the top 250 private businesses in Colorado. We have consistently been in the top 50 for years, but we made a 9 spot jump from 2017 to 2018, which shows how much progress we are making as a company.

Publication Printers was also nominated runner-up by the Colorado Biz readers for the “Best Printer” in the Colorado Biz Best of Colorado Business Choice awards.

PPC Takes Home the 2018 “Benny” for Heatset Web Magazines:

There are a number of annual publication printing award shows that span different types of print, different types of publications, art design, staff, and a gamut of other realms. For 2018, the most notable award we received was the Benny Award, one of the nation’s most recognized awards for print quality. Publication Printers also received several other awards in various categories from award shows:

Printing Industries of America: Premiere Print Awards

  • The “Benny” Award (Magazine: Heatset Web)

WSPA: Print Excellence Awards

  • Gold Award (Magazine: Heatset Web)
  • Silver  Award (Magazine: Heatset Web)
  • Bronze Award (Magazine: Heatset Web)

Printing Impressions: Gold Ink Awards

  • Gold Award (Specialty Magazine, Web)
  • Bronze Award (Trade Magazine, Web)
  • Bronze Award (Business Catalog, Web)
  • Pewter Award (Consumer Magazine)
  • Pewter Award (Magazine Cover)

Further Information

If you would like more great content from Publication Printers and the Publication Printers Marketing Group, click here.

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Magazines Still Need Print: The Facts

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Print is alive and well, despite the abundance of whispers still asking the question. Over the past decade, the magazine industry has seen huge shifts in business, due to innovations in online and digital media. However, no matter how big the shift has been, print remains vital to the industry, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Here are the reasons why!

Revenue matters, and print is still the breadwinner:

Advertisements from print were responsible for over $16 billion in revenue in 2016 (PricewaterhouseCoopers, commonly PwC). Around 87% of revenue related to circulation that year was also coming from print products.

Digital publishing has allowed for lower start-up costs for new publications, but the stream of revenue is not there for most. Only a select few, with the right niche topics and an abundance of alternative revenue streams (subscription video, social media advertising, tiered content strategies, other products, etc.) have found themselves extremely profitable with an all-digital publication. Most end up closing shop or integrating print just to balance the scale.

That said, to quote the president of Meredith’s National Media Group: “… print and digital; not print or digital. In today’s industry, balancing both is the key to success.

Data for print ROI has come a long way:

One of the biggest appeals of digital marketing and advertising is the ability to track information on a very precise level, or it used to be. With so many fake accounts and bots and other mechanisms, digital analytics related to sales or chain-of-purchase, or even just page views, is now incredibly hard to make accurate.

This does not change the fact that realistic data can be a huge asset. That is why so many publishers have worked to develop data algorithms that help prove ROI, track actual chain of purchase, and other vital details specific to print publications … and it is now a reality.

Bauer Media is one of the leaders pioneering print data analytics. Their software provides research data about advertisement and readership as a whole to help show advertisers how ads can help them meet their goals. The result is that Bauer makes ¾ of its revenue from print, and is thriving in today’s market.

Frequency and newsstand dates make a difference:

Digital publications, and online content producers in general suffer from online audiences expecting constant, consistent new stuff. As publishers strain to pump out content, they shift their focus from quality to quantity.

Print publications have a much lighter expectation for content, with weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even annual releases being perfectly normal. Not to mention, the slight variations in how often, and when it goes to actually producing the publication, can make a huge difference in dollars.

Vanity Fair is a great example of this. They combined December and January issues into a “holiday” issue, and also fused July and August to make a “summer” issue. This adjusted their schedule in the newsstands by just a few days, but meant saving a lot of money in printing costs. It also allowed them to have a flexible issue that they release in February related to the award show. It is not part of the normal print schedule, so it can fit in wherever is most affordable for their printer.

For digital publications, adjusting distribution makes little to no monetary change outside of the cost to produce content within a certain timeframe, and the staff needed to do it.

Further Information

For more detail on these facts about print and more, click here. You can also check out this article about 4 major reasons print is still around in a digital age.

If you would like more great content from Publication Printers and the Publication Printers Marketing Group, click here.

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Combatting The Top Assumption about Digital

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Digital is one of the biggest topics for publishers and has been for the better part of two decades. It makes sense, with the advent of the internet, the smartphone, and mobile devices all moving a majority of content consumption away from print and towards digital platforms. That said, the idea that print will “die” anytime soon is out of place. Digital is valuable to publishers, absolutely, but a lot of assumptions have been made as to what that value is.

Assumptions: Digital will be the end of print

First and foremost, there is an impression that digital is a “silver bullet” that can slay the print publication industry, and that digital and online titles are the only ones that will survive. If this were the case, there would be fewer print titles today than there were 25 years ago. The opposite is actually the case. Niche publications are storming the market, providing more printed content than ever.

Now there is definitely a lot of digital influence with these new titles, like websites and social media, but the money and effort are still in the print. Digital did not break the print publication industry; it actually helped it evolve towards more topic-focused and localized titles.

Assumptions: Digital means giving away content for free

Second on the assumptions list is that digital for publishers means “giving away your content for free.” For some reason, publishers have come to the conclusion that digital is the enemy of print because it involves putting all of the print content onto websites and social media in a manner that provides no return. Digital platforms provide all sorts of return if they used well. Publishers that do nothing but repost their stories online miss all the actual opportunity digital provides.

There are ad spaces to sell, new formats of content available to leverage, and entirely new audiences to discover. Digital does involve distributing your content, but there is nothing about digital that says you have to give it away with no return or not making money from it. In fact, if a publisher is “giving it away for free,” they are missing out on almost all of what digital is capable of providing.

Assumptions: Younger generations prefer digital to print

Lastly, there are assumptions that newer generations, due to the influence of digital, are reading less editorial content. This is because micro-content (like a Facebook post or Tweet) are a huge part of the digital platform culture. However, this assumption is incorrect.

Research shows that millennials are actually print’s largest and fastest-growing market. This is due to the fact that they are highly exposed to digital, and print provides them with a tactile component that is greatly missing from their normal lives. Also, print ads are native and a natural part of a print publication. This greatly differs from digital ads, which are disruptive. This backs up the fact that print that targets this generation also sees higher engagement with print advertisement.

To top this all off, while millennials are using print, baby boomers are really pushing into digital. Facebook’s largest age demographic is the 55+ group. Also, with age, ease of access is key, and digital solutions are far more versatile for people with poor vision, lack of motor skills, and other factors that come into consideration with age. Essentially, the market is moving towards print for the young and digital for the mature, further defending that print is not going anywhere.

Further Information

To see Printing Impressions‘ 10 things we got wrong about publishing in the digital age, click here.

If you want more great content from Publication Printers, click here.

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