It might not seem like it because of media narratives that paint print as a dead industry, but there are some great stories of achievement by printers that have surfaced recently. These examples can serve as prototypes for companies looking to expand in the wake of the digital era, and provide some ideas for evolving to reflect the demands of the modern business climate.
Transcontinental gets creative to maintain growth
Canadian printing company Transcontinental, Inc. has experienced a period of growth in the face of a declining market, Financial Post reporter Claire Brownell wrote. Though Canada's print industry has seen small depreciation for the past five years, Transcontinental has actually seen a profit increase of 9.3 percent. The company largely ignored the sweeping declarations that called for print's annihilation, and instead, invested in new strategies. It sold assets, obtained new ones and adapted in order to remain relevant.
Transcontinental has utilized an aggressive strategy that prioritizes spending money while simultaneously cutting costs. While this would seem to contradict conventional wisdom that dictates saving money is all-important, it has paid off for the company, which now owns a whopping 14.7 percent share in the Canadian printing industry, Brownell detailed. Instead of just eliminating expenses and hoping the economy stabilized, Transcontinental was proactive in planning for its future and made investments that changed the way it did business and set it up for sustainability going forward. This is a useful model for other print companies to emulate, as it maximizes your chances of remaining financial viable even when faced with declining industry demand and a recessive economy.
Digital publisher CNET launches print periodical
The New York Times noted that tech website CNET is swimming against the tide: In the fall of 2014, it decided to launch a print magazine for the first time in its 20-year history. The publication began as a television network in 1994, before expanding to a digital-only format as the Internet grew and developed, according to American Journalism Review's Cory Blair. After being largely successful throughout its existence, CNET is embracing print as a means through which achieving a truly multimedia presence is possible. This phenomenon, called reverse publishing, is expected to become more common as digital content producers seek to grow their audiences.
In fact, The Times reported, other companies have already joined this particular trend – YouTube channel AwesomenessTV started a book imprint, online retailer Bonobos opened stores to compliment its web business and WebMD began publishing its own magazine. Like CNET, these organizations were founded on the premise of a digital-only platform, and have since realized the power of tangibility.
CNET released its first issue of its new quarterly magazine in November. The goal is to bring technology news to the mainstream newsstand. While other publications are focused on tech-savvy audiences, CNET's periodical will target the average consumer, Blair said. The move to print will certainly help CNET gain recognition outside of its traditional market – tech industry insiders.