Use what works

Print is dead! Twitter is king! Get on the social media bandwagon, or else!

Combined with the state of the economy, that’s pretty much all we hear and read about lately. And to some extent, it’s mostly true, albeit over-hyped. For now, anyway.

But it’s also not as simple as the news media makes it out to be. While Studio-e agrees that it’s necessary for colleges, universities, independent schools and businesses like ours to utilize online tools according to an overall communications plan—using the right tool for the right audience—print and direct mail pieces are still an essential part of that plan. If print is dying, in other words, it’s not dead yet.

In a recent client survey that we conducted, when asked “What’s the most effective way for a design firm to promote itself to you?” 25 percent of respondents cited direct mail or print ads or articles; 30 percent rely on word of mouth recommendations; 15 percent use websites, e-mail promos (if attractive) or social networking; and 30 percent cited phone calls or conference appearances.

Though web-savvy, our clients still use more “traditional” means to select a firm to work with. This is why we recently sent out a mail campaign—actual letters with actual signatures and stamps—to touch base with our clients, announce some exciting changes happening here at the studio and inquire about new projects. E-mail is great, but a letter still adds a certain personal touch that other media can’t.

As we’ve discussed before, the purpose of all communication tools—print, online, word of mouth, sky-writing—is, first and foremost, to create relationships. Relationships with clients, students, alumni, donors. Knowing your audience and knowing the media they read and respond to is key. Rather than harping on one form over another and talking and bludgeoning the new-found popularity of social media to death, why not just use what works? What do your audiences respond to?

clients / industry / marketing / technology