Blog: Digital doesn’t mean death of print in internal comms

Digital doesn't mean death of print in internal comms

April 14, 2015

Print or digital? Many internal communication strategies seems to either lean one way or the other.

Why? Working together the two platforms are undoubtedly stronger.

As Head of Digital at Headlines – The Internal Communications Agency, there is one question repeated thrown in my direction.

“What will the digital landscape look like for internal communication in the future?”

It’s a fair question but one that needs to be considered in a wider context.

Do people think print is finished and digital will fill its place entirely?

The merits of a digital internal communication are well documented and numerous, from two-way communication to detailed metrics and improved ROI.

At the last count there were 175 companies making apps specifically for internal communication purposes.

More and more staff are encouraged to bring their own devices to work (BYOD) and with Sharepoint 2016 on the horizon, the digital future for our industry is gaining momentum each day.

It is an exciting time, I believe.

Graham Davidson
Graham Davidson

In the not-too-distant future who is to say you will not go to work, be greeted by personalised messages based from a digital noticeboard based entirely on a retina scan?

I may be a fan of too many science fiction movies but it’s not too much a stretch of the imagination to think this may become a reality.

So with all these digital advancement, what does it mean for the world of print?

I recently finished Seth Godin’s “Purple Cow” book, which provided some great food for thought.

The crux of this being that a Purple Cow is something that will really stand out and make you take notice.

Think of the last time you received a hand written letter in the post from a loved one rather than an email or Facebook message. Hopefully it meant that bit more to you that its digital counterpart.

Beautifully designed and well thought out print campaigns have the potential to be the Purple Cow in a digital age.

I text my wife on a regular basis but I bet she remembers the little handwritten message of love that I left in her handbag last week more than any of those texts.

Much of internal communications is about understanding your audience and making the information you want to communicate with them as accessible and engaging as possible.

So although apps and digital solutions are without questions a huge part of the future, equally there will always be a need for printed publications to reach out and touch people.