By Kurt Konow, Production Print Marketing Strategist, Ricoh Americas Corporation
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you were seriously expecting a camera crew to pop out from behind closed doors and the host of the show to yell “Smile—You’re on Candid Camera,” or better yet, Ashton Kutcher from “Punked” to rush out laughing hysterically at you for falling for such a stupid prank? Well, that was me just yesterday.
Let me set the scene—I’m having a quick lunch, by myself, between customer meetings at a fast-food restaurant (yellow arches encased the establishment). Luckily they had free Wi-Fi, so naturally I brought my laptop in with me to check emails while I was chowing down on a grilled chicken salad. What transpires next is when I started looking for the hidden cameras … A retired gentleman walks up to my table and proudly says to me, “I’m 67 years old, and just yesterday when I was here having lunch someone sitting at the next table was on his computer ‘communicating’ to another person in Tokyo—can you believe that?” He then walked away, sat down at his table and opened up his newspaper. Well, no hidden cameras appeared and no Ashton Kutcher to laugh in my face.
I suspect he shared his profound discovery with me because I was also on a computer and he must have thought I would have found his sighting fascinating. I sat back and studied the 67 year-old man for a few moments, and realized something—he was just like a lot of other people. He didn’t have a smartphone in his pocket, he wasn’t reading the newspaper on his iPad—he was reading the “real” newspaper—and had a few pieces of “mail” with him which
I suspect he was going to open soon
(I think I even spotted a glossy “postcard”).
What’s my point? To remember print in your communication strategy because you might be missing a lot of people (young and old) if you don’t. Sure, I’m as guilty, if not more, of the “print” guy gone “electronic.” In my home you will find three Mac laptops, two PCs, three iPhones, one iPod touch, two BlackBerrys and two iPads—all “connected.” Sometimes, we will go days without checking the mailbox at the end of the driveway—because we’re connected to the e-world. However, not everyone else is aligned with that world. Some people can’t be, some people don’t want to be and some people might not even be aware of it.
Print still has a place at the planning table. Print continues to be the most trusted communication device. Why? There are several reasons, but a few that come to mind are these: People believe what they see in print over any other medium, and print, in the form of mail, is delivered by one of the most trusted entities—The United States Postal Service.
I’m curious—is print still the cornerstone of your outbound messaging and communication strategies? Or have you moved aggressively toward electronic messaging instead? Drop me a comment below in the comment box and tell me where your company is going with print in context to the changing print landscape. Or, if you prefer, text message me (LOL) at Kurt.Konow@ricoh-usa.com. Better yet, really go retro and drop me a postcard at:
1404 Westglen Drive
Naperville, Illinois 60565
Looking forward to hearing from you—in any communication medium!