Print vs. Online Public Relations, Communications & Marketing Strategies

You decide!

While print magazines and newspapers remain a crucial part of any Public Relation, Communication or Marketing strategy and campaign, their online counterparts are steadily eclipsing them and this trend will likely continue in the coming years.

According to the Pew Research Center’s statistics, more than half of Americans receive their news from digital sources, and the number of people relying on social media exclusively for their news has doubled in the past two years.

How do Public Relations, Communications & Marketing professionals communicate this ever-changing landscape and its importance to clients?

Here are a few key explanations and details published in Ragan’s PR Daily:

7 ways online media benefits public relations


Print Versus Web Advertising

Don’t Discount Print Yet

“The Web audience is growing at a great clip, while print circulation is not.”

Print media has a long been the established advertising business model but it is now a reality that the Internet has made huge leaps and bounds in securing some of the huge annual advertisement revenues. Unlike print, it is very easy to monitor the results and performance of any online marketing campaign and all its associated costs. Online advertising can be instantly edited, switched on and off and expenses capped automatically. This has led to the move from print to online media, as it is more accountable and today, almost every major print media company have an equivalent online publication to satisfy the demand of Internet users and help ease the transition from print to web advertising.

Adapt or Die

Another concept that the print industry often struggles to understand is the Internet business model itself. The Internet trades free information for capturing your online usage and personal data in order for advertisers to target and sell products more efficiently. The major contributor to this phenomenon has been the development of search engine based technology websites. Sophisticated systems are now allowing advertisers to follow prospects around the Web displaying the same ads.

News Travels Fast

Today, people do not now have to wait for the next publication for important news updates. Online medias eliminate the wait and fulfill instant demand of information for free. With mobile communications offering smart phone and Internet capabilities across the board, it is hard to see how print can keep up with the new emerging technologies.

Social medias are also playing a major part in capturing and, more importantly, retaining Internet users. Print medias, in their traditional form, cannot compete efficiently anymore with online social medias, which, by the way, always have competing advertising platforms in place.

Businesses and institutions also have opened up the access for the masses to get involved online. Most business firms and institutions now provide Internet access to their employees. If the access is available then people are more likely to use it as second nature. It is another tie in to the technology away from print.

Don’t Discount Print Yet

Many people now feel that advertising on the Internet is getting more and more intrusive, that Internet advertising is nothing less than unnecessary additional noise on the web and a major source of distraction for everyone. For most of the population, even opening an email is now becoming a source of frustration. What print medias can offer to their readers is the tried and tested way of delivering news content and advertising in a format that will not be a source of aggravation.

Daily and Monthly Print Publications, filling in the gap between TV commercials and Internet advertising are still the ideal platform for cross media advertising campaigns. Over 40% of readers spend over 30 minutes but under 1 hour reading Daily Newspapers. Over 40% of readers spend over 30 minutes but under 1 hour reading Monthly Publications and as a bonus; they often keep their Monthly Publications for future reference.

Regional Newspapers are excellent for local business advertising. Specialized Newspapers, Magazines and Publications are excellent for specialized products, business and services advertising. Consumer and Trade Magazines have the ability to target adverts specific to those who may be in the niche industry or services. Like it or not, never forget that the best possible and cheapest way to publicize a Website is an always will be print.


Many print publications are pinning their hopes of converting readers in a straight print to online conversion. Utilizing the Mobile and Tablet market, they are introducing Apps, which deliver cut down versions of the news daily or weekly publication. Most publishers feel that the two can compliment each other as there is still a loyal base of newspaper purchasers, even if in decline and a majority of publishers see the way forward as combining print and online media advertising. While the younger generation may well only be interested in online media, , it is also reasonable to say that as the percentage of older age groups live longer, they will more conversant with print. The same is true for a large portion of businessmen and corporate officers.