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Dear Print Magazines: We’re Just Not That into You

We’re sorry print magazines. But as this article in Advertising Age highlights, we’re just not interested anymore.

Sure, there were good times, like that steamy summer day by the pool when we suddenly rolled up The New Yorker to kill that horsefly on our ankle. You can’t convert a Nook into a flyswatter, or a vuvuzela, or an umbrella when it unexpectedly rains. But your flexibility and expendability just doesn’t cut it anymore. We, the public, want volume, convenience and technology. We feel guilty every time we have to throw a huge stack of print magazines into the garbage, even if it is a recycle bin.

What, you may ask, can PR professionals do to save you? Not much, sadly. The print era is over, even though your commendable resilience offers some hope; but niche markets and sleek promotional campaigns aren’t enough to create long-term sustainability. The news isn’t all bad, however, because you, like us, can move into the digital age. You just have to show some initiative. That begins with taking responsibility for your situation and owning it.

Don’t blame advertisers. Why would they invest their money in something the public doesn’t want? You, print magazines, must change your relationship with readers. You must go where we are. Hint: We’re online. Find a way to make us, the public, love you again. Woo us. Court us. Romance us. Your newsstand offers three-day old copies of Maxim and Bon Appetit next to three-week old M&Ms and fluorescent Gatorade. My kindle has Holden Caulfield and Jose Arcadio Buendía and Katherine Dunn’s freaks. My iPad has links to Peruvian recipes, Vietnamese ingredients and videos of mixologists winning cocktail contests in New Orleans.

It’s not you, print magazines, it’s us. We’ve changed. We’re moving on.

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