Blog: Iggy Azalea is wrong… print and digital need own identities

Why Iggy Azalea is wrong over print and digital

February 17, 2015

Iggy Azalea struck upon an interesting theme over the disjointed nature of online and print.

The Australian rapper tweeted displeasure over media channels failing to sing off the same song sheet.

“Print magazines always have a massive disconnect from their online presence. I don’t even think the print editor oversees the online site,” she fumed.

She cited how a print edition may promote a particular celeb while the online channel was making “us all think that person is a stupid piece of s*** at any given chance”.

The outspoken star’s observations suggest a frustrated pop star shooting from the hip.

But is she right?

Having overseen the relationship of print and digital evolve over the past decade, I’d argue she isn’t.

For starters, why should print and online replicate each other and waste their strengths?

Headlines – The Internal Communications Agency creates publications for some of the world’s biggest companies.

Getting the balance between the mediums is a challenge, one we find is required more and more.

So how do we approach it?

The bedrock to this thorny issue is identity.

Working together results in more targeted messaging and, in turn, bolsters engagement.

Understanding the way channels operate is a start.

Print tends to be a leisurely read offering a feel-good factor with familiar storytelling.

As a result, we see printed publications develop a reassuring loyalty with its readership.

Digital is a different beast. Articles must be written with time in mind – easy to consume content for time-conscious people. News without views, you might say.

Can a website ignore a breaking story because its print partner ran an article about the same individual recently?

Of course not.

Throw in social into the mix too – providing the opportunity to play devil’s advocate and prompt discussion – and the roles of each element are quite different.

Harnessing channels’ potential is key.

For instance, print had finite space. Pages overloaded with content do not work, requiring vital white space to encourage reading.

Canny operators understand this – and respond accordingly.

The main article, colleague profile and best pictures, for example, could feature in the print edition with readers being directed to the online element for the video, complete image gallery and relevant poll.

Meanwhile digital provides the perfect platform for two-way dialogue and collaboration.

This doesn’t mean print should be excluded from discussion. Online conversation can be reverse published into print – running alongside a new angle of the story.

Iggy Azalea’s frustration is understandable but misguided.

Rather than a lack of understanding between the print and digital editor, I would suggest the channels are working in-sync delivering content to their target audience in the exact manner their readership expects.