Is Print A Dying Medium in the Chamber World? How One Chamber Nearly Doubled Its Directory Ad Sales

by | Sep 7, 2017

Hey! Ed Burzminski here from Chamber Marketing Partners. You know the question keeps coming up in the chamber world –  “Is print dead?”

Well, if you’re in the daily newspaper industry , that’s a challenging situation for print. You know, I get my daily information from my phone on the BBC and from the CNN and from the Fox News app and that’s where I consume my daily news. So, if you’re in the newspaper business, you’ve got some challenges.


In the chamber world though, print media does still remain strong. The Western Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (WACE) in July 2017 did an opinion poll and it showed that 72 percent of chambers still produce a printed membership directory.

In our opinion, we don’t like to call them membership directories. It’s just the connotation of membership directory is a little bit dated. But, membership directories have been evolving into external communications pieces like community guides, like economic profiles, like relocation guides, and visitor guides. It kind of depends upon the community. You’ve heard the old adage, if you’ve seen one chamber, you’ve seen one chamber. Well, some chambers are more specific and have more of a bend towards community guides. Some have a lot of economic development activity going on and they want to talk about that economic development activity, and some have relocations that are happening, and others have a lot of tourism and visitors coming through the market. So it really just depends on the chamber.

Plano Texas Relocation GuideFor instance, in Plano, Texas there’s been a lot of corporate relocation going on.  Toyota Motor Corporation has moved their corporate headquarters from Torrance, California to Plano, Texas. So Jamee Jolly, President & CEO of the Plano Chamber, smartly rebranded her publication from being a business directory and community guide to being a relocation guide and business directory. She specifically takes that publication and mails it to management at Toyota. Management at Toyota then distributes  it to their employees because, as they’re moving from California to Texas, that publication gives them an opportunity to see what Plano is all about. It’s been very, very helpful, and it actually helped double the ad sales because now advertisers know what eyeballs are seeing it. So, real estate agents have started to advertise, senior services have started to advertise, a lot of home-oriented businesses and relocation-oriented businesses have started to advertise. So, really it just kind of depends on your community.

So, to answer the question “Is print dead?” We here at Chamber Marketing Partners resoundingly say “No!” Print in the chamber world remains very, very strong.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I’m Ed at Chamber Marketing Partners, www.chambermarketingpartners.com.


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