Younger audiences are more likely to create emotional connections with printed health and wellness communications. You’d think a generation that grew into adulthood glued to electronic devices would prefer digital communication, right? Sure, Millennials rely on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops to connect with the world, but this group of 20- and 30-somethings also appreciates print – another good reason to ensure print is part of your communications strategy.
Print connects on a deeper level
According to a study by the Centre for Experimental Consumer Psychology at Bangor University, the physical nature of print creates an emotional connection and leads to a deeper impression in the brain than a digital message. People can touch and feel print, and the brain perceives print to be more genuine.
According to the Washington Post article “Why digital natives prefer reading in print. Yes, you read that right.,” those digital natives (Millennials) interviewed indicated that reading printed materials made it “easier to follow stories.” As for electronic reading, those interviewed provided comments such as “I don’t absorb as much,” and “It’s harder to keep your place.”
Given this information, what should you do?
Use a combination of both printed and electronic communications, and allow them to work together to reinforce each other and the message you want to share. David Johnson, a journalism professor at the American University School of Communication, may have summed up the print vs. electronic debate best when he wrote: “The smart answer isn’t putting digital or print first, but to put design and usability first, using each product for what they do best and let them do it together.”
Hope Health’s president, Shawn Connors, recently wrote this article, Wellness Engagement: 8 Reasons to Rethink Print, which includes reasons to rethink print in your overall strategy for reaching employees of all ages.
Every workplace is unique, and so should be the communications plan you develop. Keep an open mind when deciding on your media.
What mix of media is right for your company? Use the free Hope Health media planning tool to find out. Answer a few questions, and the tool will show you a pie chart, suggesting an estimate of how you might want to organize your workplace communication between print and electronic media.