The Resurgence of Print in the Digital Age: Elevating Internal Communication Strategies

In an era dominated by digital screens and virtual connections, the tactile heartbeat of print media is often overlooked. However, print remains a vital, if not under-appreciated, element of our communication landscape. This is particularly true when we look at internal communications within organisations. Despite the instantaneous allure of email blasts and the ubiquity of intranet pages, the qualities of print media offer a refreshing alternative that is proving to be a strategic asset in internal communications.

Whether it’s a quarterly newsletter filled with company news or an internally distributed magazine spotlighting employee achievements, print media catalyses a deeper, more personal connection between an organisation and its workforce. While cost and environmental concerns might initially deter an exploration of print, the long-term benefits are more substantial than most recognize. In this extensive discussion, we will uncover the often-unnoticed advantages of print media, sharing compelling reasons why it should be a centrepiece of your internal communication strategy. If you need help in crafting this strategy, check out the G Monkey Designs internal signage.

Creating a Tangible Identity

Beyond the Hypothetical: A Tangible Heritage

Print media embodies a legacy of permanence, offering a sense of history and tradition that digital formats cannot replicate. When an employee physically holds a company magazine or reads news from a print newsletter, they are connecting with a form of material history that is both grounding and inspiring. It solidifies the narrative of an organisation’s legacy, milestones, and cultural evolution in a way that digital channels struggle to do.

The Memoir of Memorable Moments

In an employee’s tenure, these print artefacts become memoirs, preserving significant moments and personal achievements. They speak more eloquently of the company’s values, progress, and commitment than digital messages that are here today, buried in a crowded inbox tomorrow. Such tangibility creates a more profound sense of mission and belonging within the team.

Engagement Through Cognitive Connection

The Mind’s Eye And The Printed Page

Print engages the cognitive faculties in a manner that digital doesn’t. Studies in neuromarketing have consistently shown that when subjects interact with a printed medium, there is deeper engagement with the material due to varied sensory experiences. The act of turning pages, the texture of the paper, and even the scent of ink contribute to a cognitive connection that elevates the perception of the content.

The Luxury of Ceasefire in The War for Attention

In our modern attention economy, print media creates a sanctuary, offering a reprieve from the constant barrage of digital notifications. It allows readers to focus on content without the subconscious urge to multitask or to skim text. This luxury of focused attention is invaluable, ensuring that important internal messages receive the attention they deserve.

Fostering Engagement and Retention

A Personal Touch in Corporate Narratives

Print media humanises corporate narratives, infusing them with a personal touch. Employee stories, leadership messages, and team achievements resonate more deeply when shared in a physical medium that speaks to our shared love for stories and storytelling. It elevates the content as it signals a genuine, caring investment in the stories being told.

The Retention Industry Secret

For training materials and detailed reports, print remains a superior choice. It has been shown that retention of information is higher when reading from print, especially with technical or complex data. This is crucial when disseminating critical procedure changes, compliance notices, or core training materials.

The Inclusion Factor: Reaching Every Employee

Overcoming Digital Divides

Not all employees have ready access to digital tools or may be uncomfortable using them. Print levels the playing field, ensuring that every team member can receive and engage with information, regardless of their role or technical comfort level. This inclusivity is paramount in maintaining a cohesive organisation.

The Sharing Culture

Print is also more easily shared. A magazine left on a lunch table or a newsletter passed from hand to hand can have a much broader reach than a link in an email. The tactile nature of print encourages a culture of sharing and can spark discussions that wouldn’t happen in a digital environment.

Sustainability in Print: Debunking the Green Myth

The Real Picture of Print’s Environmental Impact

Contrary to common perception, the global paper industry has made huge strides in sustainability, with many publishers and printers using recycled materials and environmentally-friendly inks. In the context of internal communications, the lifespan of print media often outstrips that of digital, as it is not subjected to the same attrition rates and technological obsolescence.

Cost-Effective Longevity

On a cost-benefit analysis, the longevity of print materials can often make them a more cost-effective option. The initial outlay might be higher, but in terms of engagement, retention, and longevity of message, print frequently outperforms digital alternatives.

Integrating Print into a Holistic Internal Communication Strategy

Striking the Right Balance

Print should not be a replacement for digital but an essential complement. When integrated into a holistic internal communication strategy, print media augments employee connection and engagement in ways that purely digital mediums cannot. It’s about finding the right balance that leverages the strengths of both worlds.

Measuring the Immeasurable

While digital metrics allow for granular analysis, the impact of print media is often immeasurable in a traditional sense. However, anecdotal evidence and observed behavioural changes can point to the success of print components in an internal communication strategy. It is these intangibles that often make the most significant difference.

Overcoming Obstacles to Ink and Paper

Navigating Production and Distribution

The common roadblocks associated with print—production timelines, distribution logistics, and content updates—can all be managed with careful planning and efficient partnerships with print services. The trade-off in effort is more than justified by the quality and impact of the final product.

Internal Pushback and Perceptions

A more significant challenge may come from internal pushback, particularly from those who view print as a relic of the past. Addressing these perceptions with a clear presentation of the benefits and a demonstration of print’s strategic alignment with your organisation’s goals can be an effective way to overcome resistance.

Case Studies and Testimonials

Success Stories of Resurgence

Learning from the experience of other organisations that have successfully integrated print into their internal communications can be inspiring and instructive. Real-world examples highlight the versatility and effectiveness of print in different contexts and industries.

Voices of Belief

Testimonials from employees who have been moved or motivated by the print materials they’ve received can form a persuasive narrative. When the voices of the staff align with the strategy, it lends considerable weight to the argument for print media’s place in communication planning.

The Way Forward: A Printed Manifesto

In a world increasingly digitised, print media for internal use is not just a vestige of the past, but a powerful tool for the present and future. It enhances the richness of communication, the depth of connection, and the unbroken flow of collective knowledge within organisations. The incorporation of print in our internal communications ecosystem is an acknowledgment of the multifaceted human experience that thrives on variety and tactile engagement.

The strategic manager who can see beyond the convenience of digital and appreciate the unique benefits of print is the architect of a truly robust company culture. By weaving print media into our internal communication strategies, we are not just innovating but reinvigorating our approach, building a legacy as we communicate in the present tense. It’s time to imprint a new, compelling chapter in the art of organisational storytelling.