An interesting comment was made to me last week by the section editor of a leading UK IT weekly. He was bemoaning the fact that their own readership survey showed that readers rarely looked at features. At the very least, they weren’t read when the magazine came out, but might be kept and consulted at a later date. The first few news pages, the back page, and the job sections were the ones that people looked at.
So – is getting feature coverage a waste of time? If it is, then a lot of IT PR work being carried out today would seem to be redundant. The point is how this coverage can be further exploited above and beyond its immediate publication. This comes back to how PR can be integrated into other areas of the marketing mix. Even if a feature is not read at the time, reference to it in other marketing materials or on a company’s web site can have value. Even if someone hasn’t read the original feature, they will still acknowledge the fact that a respected title has covered the vendor.
The days of PR in isolation are numbered.
3 replies on “Who reads IT magazines these days?”
I know people read help pages and tutorials because I get mails from some of them saying so and asking questions. And some of my pieces in the Guardian have provoked people to thought enough to write in. But how soon do they look at them? I read the inside back page of any magazine first (I expect it to be light and funny) and I flick through the front pages (again, light bites). The longer pieces wait till I’m in a mood to digest something longer. Just because the magazine wants to do the feature in the May issue doesn’t mean I’ll want to read in June rather than August; I’m sure people do hang onto magazines for quite a while. And as you say, it’s all brand awareness. We’re a bit obsesses with deadlines and timeliness and what’s new and hot now; for the readers it may be more about when it’s the right time for them to look at the subject. Archive, archive, archive: and remember that the value of data by age is a different graph for every business.
Who reads IT Magazines?
It is worth looking at the research. http://www.consterdine.com/reports is by Guy Consterdine and shows that print has a big role to play in communications it is, his research shows ‘like a friend’ dropping in’.
In PR we do need to keep up to date with the research and the PPR http://www.ppa.co.uk is a good place to start.