Print advertising, wherefore art thou?

Print advertising, wherefore art thou?

As a woman of a ‘certain age’ (ahem) I have seen the world of recruitment advertising move on incredibly from the days when a newspaper or trade title would land on your desk with a hefty ‘whump’ due to the mass of recruitment advertisements they carried.  In the ‘good old days’ recruitment advertising carried a premium rate which held up the cheaper display rates the titles were able to sell at.

Well clearly no more. From the first days of digital (I can still remember having to convince clients that an online listing was not the work of the devil) to behavioural targeting, programmatic and most recently the use of social media and mobile to appeal to those in search of a job, the days of print advertising for recruitment are well and truly dead.

Well they are, aren’t they?

Perhaps not quite as deceased as we think. As a certain Sir Martin Sorrell suggested not long ago “There’s really strong evidence that engagement with traditional print is greater than engagement with so-called new media”.

Fighting talk! So let’s look at a 5 ways that print can still have a part to play in an integrated recruitment campaign.

1. Reader engagement

As Sir Martin suggests newspaper/magazine readers are more engaged and focussed than their digital counterparts. Let’s face it when we watch TV we are often using other devices such as tablets or mobiles or dividing our attention somehow. A print reader tends to do just that. Read. It also means they retain more of what they have seen as they engage longer with the medium (the Sunday Times quotes an average 58 minutes reading time).

2. It’s credible

As well as the tangible aspects of having a newspaper in your hands, print often offers a (genuine or perceived) sense of credibility. Readers tend to trust the information they see in print; add to that the gravitas and renown certain titles bring (so think Financial Times, The Economist etc.) and you have an audience that is not only engaged but ready to take on board your message.

3. You’re missing a trick

It’s true. There are people out there who don’t spend all their time browsing, reading news or shopping on the internet. Granted we are probably talking the older end of the workforce here, but don’t forget we are all having to work longer before we get that pension! The Sunday Times for example knows that its print readers number over 1.8million. Its online audience is 196,000 (daily). So it’s not just a trick you are missing, it’s a potential candidate.

4. Showcasing

There’s no question that digital advertising in all its forms is substantially more creative and engaging that it was in the early days. But print can still bring something to this, it exposes your employer brand to both an active and passive audience, and when combined with other content (such as editorial) gives you that extra credibility we have already mentioned.

5. Show me the money

And finally for those of you with an ROI in mind and a budget to spend, an article in The Drum (July 2016) showcased research that showed newspaper advertising boosts the effectiveness of other media – newspapers make TV twice as effective and online display four times more effective. So get those wallets and purses out.

So while we are not suggesting print is the force it once was, as part of a fully integrated recruitment campaign it still has something to give.

Perhaps there’s still life in the old log yet (log=tree=paper)


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