Not All Social Media Is Digital

Late last night a hand-delivered letter dropped through my door. It began:

Dear colleague,

You should have received a ballot paper to vote for a new editor of the Journalist – the NUJ’s magazine.

I live in Honor Oak, SE23, and have dropped this through your door to ask you to vote for me, Richard Simcox.

nuj-the-journalistI was impressed, not necessarily by the Simcox manifesto, but by the campaigning. Honor Oak is not a million miles away but nor is it a stroll around the corner.

During a postal strike, the message needs to get out and this would-be editor was willing to put in the hours.

There are eight candidates  hoping to run the National Union of Journalist’s house magazine. It’s a high-profile role and the first time in 21 years that the position has been vacant.

It’s also a key point in the evolution of the print publication. Its production cycle has been cut from 12 to six issues a year as more and more NUJ news and information goes online.

One of the dilemmas the new editor will have to wrestle with is how to balance a web presence with a print presence. Sound familiar?

And that’s another reason why the hand-delivered letter was interesting. It brought home the potency of ‘push’ communication, when done right. 

Simcox, like his fellow candidates, has ticked all the digital boxes: website, Twitter, Facebook etc. The NUJ, too, will explore ways to use social media to make the most of its ready-made community with its shared interests.

This all matters but so too does the ‘physical contact’ that the print magazine dropping on the doormat every other month provides.

Any future editor who thinks that the only social media is digital would be very wide of the mark.

Related:
How The Atlantic Is Rethinking Magazine Publishing
As Print Dwindles, can Amazon Re-Kindle?
Five innovations in news journalism, thanks to the web