Making Print and Pixels Play Nice

People often look at electronic communications tools as a great way to save money – get the word out, and save money on ink and paper. Simple, right? But don’t underestimate the opportunity cost of cutting out print communication channels. Social technologies, postcards, web, mobile devices, and publications work well together and make up a cohesive communications strategy. You shouldn’t choose one over the others.

Here are some examples of how ink and paper can work with online media: a few months back, Trident ran a print ad in USA Today featuring tweets about their product, Trident Layers. See Mashable’s writeup here. Esquire magazine ran an augmented reality issue, and piped readers’ tweets into their website. The Detroit Red Wings placed QR codes in their printed programs, and when fans scanned the codes with their mobile devices it launched this YouTube video.

You can do simple things like putting a QR code on your business card, linking to audio and video content online from your print article or ad, using Facebook comments in your annual reports, etc.


The key is understanding how all of these tools work, then coming up with creative ways to make them all work together. You should layer your marketing efforts using print and electronic media. And finally, the people who have the most intimate knowledge of these seemingly disparate channels (printers, publishers, social media managers, etc) need to be advocates for their media of choice and be willing to play well with others. The collective knowledge and collaborative spirit will make the best use of the strengths of each platform.


One Response to Making Print and Pixels Play Nice

  1. This is great! I sent this info to our division that makes a lot of posters and websites for events on campus.


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