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The Trouble with Trade Print Articles and Advertising?Nobody Reads Anymore
Trade publications ? the traditional carriers of valuable content and advertisers? perception-enhancing messages to groups of homogenous decision-makers?can no longer hold the interest of decision-makers.
Why? Because nobody reads anymore. At best, they scan. Busy professionals experience information overload, develop tunnel vision, and focus only on information related to their immediate tasks and needs. This has become an economy of scanning decision-makers whose attention is diverted daily by hundreds of promotional messages.
Today, qualified readers scan tables-of-contents bookmarking a few articles to be read later if there is time. Increasingly for these busy people, Web agents and search engines reduce the need to scan and bookmark print publications for future reading. A Yankelovich Partners survey finds that 90 percent of senior executives believe the Internet will be their primary source of news by 2005.
There are several other reasons why decision-makers don?t read trade publications anymore:
If nobody is reading anymore, what does that do to the premise of advertising, the basis of the trade print business model? How does a scanner find your ad . . . in the table of contents? What about media-buyer recommendations? In your newly fragmented market segments, how many of that vertical publication?s readers are actually prospects for your product or service?
And what about media relations . . . "free" p.r? If the average professional is challenged by the information explosion, then what of the daily tsunami cascading over editors? For some reason flooding the media is no longer a no-no for many public relations practitioners. And unfortunately, all but a few splashes of the information flood are aimed at market niches too narrow for the editor to consider. Also, the traditional exchange between editor and publicist? a chance for increased perceived credibility traded for the loss of control over timing and content?becomes less and less of a good deal for the publicist?s client in a fast moving economy.
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