Tomorrow’s fish and chip paper?

Tomorrow’s fish and chip paper?

Continuing his regular series of blogs, Aro PR and Marketing’s Managing Director, Billy McKenna waxes lyrical on why newspapers and trade magazines are still alive and kicking despite the rise of social media.

Because social media is so popular, it’s often wrongly assumed traditional print media has taken a back seat as a marketing tool. Print media is sometimes seen as struggling to compete with the convenience and cost effectiveness of being online. Yet, if used as part of a multichannel strategy, newspapers and specialist magazines are powerful tools to raise the profile of your business and reach out to customers, suppliers and staff, both existing and potential partners.

All about audience

When building your content and marketing strategies, think about who you try to reach with each of the different communication channels at your disposal. As with any business, but especially for those in more specialised industries such as engineering, composites and science, you need to think about who your audience are and where they consume their content. For example, most often millennials (those born between 1980s to early 2000s) and Gen Z (those born after millennials) are more comfortable with social media and search for their news via the internet. Whereas, Gen X (those born between 1960’s and early 1980’s) or Babyboomers (those born mostly after World War II but generally between 1940’s and 1964) are more inclined to obtain their information from printed media such as newspapers or industry magazines.

Establish credibility

Readers often like the convenience of digesting short bursts of news online but prefer printed media for more indepth content. The downside to consuming your news via a website is the slew of ads and pop ups that can interrupt your reading experience, not to mention the fear of spam, which can be a bit of a nuisance. Conversely, there are no such irritations to reading an article in a newspaper or trade magazine.

A publication may often be more relaxed about the news criteria for their online editions as they have the ability to add, amend or remove with greater ease compared to printed editions. Whereas the effort required to put together a trade magazine or newspaper is a lot more arduous, with a far longer lead time, so being featured in print can often be perceived as a greater achievement. Simply put, if your business is featured in a trustworthy, respected and well known trade magazine or newspaper, it raises your profile amongst existing and potential customers and strengthens your credibility.


Many people prefer reading their news from a trade magazine or newspaper simple because they like the fact they are holding the article in their hands rather than reading from a screen. Research shows that physically holding something can leave a longer impression on the brain which can help to create a longer and more memorable message.

On the flip side, it’s often argued that when something is online it’s there forever, whereas a newspaper or trade magazine can be thrown away. However, there is something to be said for hardcopies. The media coverage can be framed or put in a portfolio in your reception for customers to browse through and read about your capabilities in black and white! Whereas an online article can be easily forgotten or deleted from cyber space, a serious concern if you’re website was hacked or shut down.

To sum up, as with most things in life, when it comes to news, there are benefits and drawbacks to both print and online. So, adopt a multichannel approach and use both for maximum effect to ensure your message is seen by as many people as possible.

Billy McKenna is the Managing Director at Aro PR and Marketing, a specialist agency for engineering, composites and scientific companies.