Do IT decision-makers still read the trades in print? Jury still out.


Peter Kirwan at FullRun picked up on earlier post  of mine regarding the relevance of IT trade mags to senior IT decision makers.

He cites a couple of surveys that appear to contradict my argument:

1. A study of 600 senior executives worldwide from the FT and US ad agency Doremus asked respondents to comment on the suggestion that "print media are becoming obsolete". Fully 73% disagreed. Meanwhile, two-thirds said that they paid more attention to print ads than the online equivalents.

2. Back in June, Hill & Knowlton produced another example of the genre. Surprisingly, perhaps, the agency’s survey of IT purchasing decision-makers found a strong bias toward print titles among respondents.

On point one, it may be true that they pay more attention to print ads than online – what isn’t mentioned is how much general attention they are paying to the mags themselves – if they are only having the odd glance, it still doesn’t bode well for print advertising.

On point two, one thing I didn’t mention last time was that although the senior IT decision makers I talked to didn’t read the mags themselves, a number of them said they passed on these titles to other junior colleages – occasionally, they will have a particular piece highlighted to them.

In which case, it would remain perfectly valid for IT decision makers to say that they still regard IT trade mags as important – just not in the way you might expect ie by actually reading them.

It makes for an interesting PR challenge – how do you craft stories that persuade lower level decision makers that they have something that might be of interest to their boss?

As Peter says, in the absence of compelling reader research among IT decision-makers, you pays your money; and you takes your choice.

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