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BW Businessworld

Print Vs Digital: The Battle Is Far From Over

Both are an important source of information and its share of relevance and importance

Photo Credit : Shutterstock

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The  communications landscape has been changing dramatically in has the last few years. The one size fits all has given away to specialty approach. It's not just about the big corporate or the conglomerates building the economic scenario of the sub-continent, but the start-ups and the digital initiatives have brought in a whole new dimension to the entrepreneurship world as we know them today.

The digital age has also taken the world by storm in these past years, changing with it the way business is conducted, as well as how the consumer is engaged. Statistics are definitely a strong indicator that mobile devices and apps are the go-to for many business owners, who now have the opportunity to manage their operations while on the road. However, as many advantages these digital marketing strategies may have, there are just as many brought on by the use of traditional marketing strategies, that tend to usually get overlooked.

Virtually everyone agrees that the digital transformation of the media industry is already well underway. Consumer behaviour and expectations are driving this change, and younger generations in particular are accustomed to instant access to global content at all times. The rapid rise of mobile and other technologies has reshaped the manner in which the world creates and consumes information, and this change is profoundly affecting the media sector. The relative affordability of mobile technology is another catalyst for the digital transformation, as it allows a growing number of consumers to utilize the latest tools in their quest to enjoy content.

Public Relations is one of the most sought after brand building route for many organizations. While some fail to see through the tactics and look at it more as a ROI tool, in reality it is building and positioning the organization. Some have the mettle to influence the brand and market value of listed firms , some have the ability to spin the messaging strategy for the clients, either ways the PR professionals are bestowed with the talent to create a space for their clients in the media. So far so good, but In the ever changing communications scape, where does this building and influencing stand in the age of digital, social, electronic and print medium?

The task just went multi fold for the professionals. With the social media taking the world by storm, the world truly has become a global village. Information is just finger tips away. What's with smart phones with multiple news and social media apps whirring to give the most latest information from political, economical, educational, entertainment and corporate world? And what about those still rely on the print be it the dailies, the weekly, fortnightly or the bi-monthly's? So what makes one better than the other?

Let's analyse

Digital and Social Media helps people stay connected and up to date wherever one may be. It's a flash news that keeps you posted. But doesn't give you analysis or multiple view points immediately. The print whereas gives you the complete story, where required it also gives multiple view points on the subject. It can ran a story that is of significance for days, bringing multiple analysis and view points. What's with Columnist, Opinions, Debates and Multiple views.. the print takes it all   The  Digital and Social media are definitely inching their space for their place to replace print, it will take a lot of thinking and planning to displace or disrupt the print medium as the most important source of information.

While the reach of a digital space is far and wide, that of print has its share of loyal patrons. From India's most read business paper to the most juicy tabloid, be it English or Regional, every print medium has its share of fan following. Digital India is seeing sea change in its attitude towards Internet and Digital and social media, but to reach the last mile, the newspaper serves as a reliable source of such information.

Yes Digital Medium is bound to disrupt the print at some point. the podcasts, the videos, live streaming are all sources that fire the imagination of the consumer. Short, crisp and sometimes the go to source for understanding an issue.

While there’s no question that the digital transformation has permanently changed the media industry, reports of the death of print have been greatly exaggerated. The reality is that the tangible nature of physical media remains important to a large percentage of consumers.

While the debate continues between the print and the digital medium and very well will continue to do so, in my opinion, both are an important source of information and its share of relevance and importance . Whether one will disrupt the other is something we will have to wait and see. Until then let's take the best of both worlds for our consumption and to build our client reputation. The time has never been as good as it is now.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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Rahat Beri

The author is Managing Director, Blue Ocean IMC

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