Social media, mobile apps, websites and other online resources are delivering instant access to information and new opportunities for businesses to promote their services. They are widely used and growing in popularity by the minute, so it begs the question – is print a dying medium?

Convenience and cost are two factors that make going exclusively digital with your community guide or chamber membership directory an attractive option, but the truth is, print still has its place, so before you toss those printed publications in the recycling bin and transition your print publications online, here’s some food for thought.

Is a printed chamber membership directory still relevant?At the end of 2012, Newsweek stopped the presses on its printed magazine moving full speed ahead with an all-digital strategy. Just over a year later, the magazine was back in print.

In 2015, retailer JC Penney resurrected its print catalog after shifting its focus to an online platform five years earlier because their research showed that the company’s print catalog drove more online sales.

Perhaps the best argument for print having its place in a digital world is that of WebMD, a company born online, sees enough value in print media to publish a print magazine as well as special editions several times a year and make them available to doctors’ offices nationwide. They are doing it right. They are providing consumer-oriented health-related content in the form of a high quality magazine and they are providing it to their targeted audience at a time and place when that content is particularly relevant to their audience…while they are waiting for a doctor’s appointment.

That’s really the key to making print publications as successful as they can be – knowing your target audience, delivering relevant content and making it available to that audience at a time and place when it will be meaningful to them.

While digital platforms offer real-time, cost-effective ways to communicate with your members and community, a high quality community guide can be a significant and compelling way to tell your chamber’s story and gain valuable visibility for your members.

Need a little more convincing? Here’s some information that may surprise you. A recent survey by marketing firm, JWT, found that eight out of ten American adults prefer reading the printed version of a magazine over a digital version. And that trend is consistent across generations, including Millennials.