4 thoughts on “I.72”

  1. I think you could reverse this and apply much of the same rationale to why you have a wesbite, social network or mobile app.

    Not so Good:
    We have a website/app just because everybody else does. Because that’s what our management wants. Because people won’t take us seriously if we don’t.

    A large portion of our audience is “on the go” and so consumes the majority of their information via mobile devices or laptops while traveling or working off site.

    Really Good:
    Our information is not useful in print, i.e. it is interactive or multimedia, is not substantial enough to warrant the cost of printing/shipping, or is constantly being updated in real time.

    Asking what medium works best for your content, your audiences and your staff will ensure that the right stuff gets to the right people in the right way. The most robust information center will have a variety of content, platforms and distribution channels, ones that are not simply carbon copies of one another (for example, tweeting a link to the wesbite where you uploaded a PDF of your print material, although that can be useful in some cases).

  2. You’re absolutely right, Lauren. It seems to me that there is more institutional inertia around print publications at the moment so that is why I took this focus here.

    It also might be more helpful to make it more concrete as just saying choose a medium to suit the content is fine in the abstract but a lot of people (especially management) aren’t necessarily good at understanding what that means for actually making decisions on the ground.

    But your overall point is spot on. Get the right content to the right audiences in the right ways. Or even take that a step further and say interact around the right stories with the right audiences via the right channels.

  3. David– love the blog and am reading all your posts.

    HHMI puts out a beautiful print magazine, quality paper and lush design. I assume it has great writing too, but I’ve never read anything in it. I wonder if anyone does? Who’s their target audience and what does HHMI hope to achieve? Maybe there is a good reason. They’re certainly investing a lot of time and money.

  4. Thanks, Kaspar!

    HHMI’s magazine is indeed beautiful. I also don’t read it.

    The ugly truth of most print publications like it (and symmetry for that matter) is that they are designed to not be read as well as to be read. By that I mean they should give a particular impression to a particular audience without the audience actually reading what is in it. of coure, those who are interested had better find good quality information as well but for some audiences, that is secondary.

    I am sure that they get their money’s worth with their publication based on my inferences about their audiences.

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