PR Writing Post 9

Oracle Corporation, for many years, has published a monthly employee magazine that has won numerous awards as an outstanding publication that effectively communicates the company’s philosophy and emphasis on building good customer relationships. Management, however, is now wondering if the print version should be discontinued in favor of an online publication. As editor of the publication, you strongly feel that a print version is still an effective communication tool and should not be discontinued. Draft a short proposal to management stating the case for continuing the print version.

There are 26 comments

  1. leahprodriguez

    For my proposal I would first highlight the accomplishments the Oracle Corporation’s magazine have and note these have all been obtained from a print version. Second, I would add how technology does play a vital role in today’s media and that many newspapers and magazines have taken a liking to online publications. A possible solution for meeting the needs of both traditional and modern day media could be to have both, as opposed to eliminating the print version completely, simply add online options with select articles and aspects of the publication. According to the book “more than 92 million U.S. adults read a daily print newspaper and more than 105 million read a print newspaper on Sunday,” (pg. 334). The same goes for magazines, with a consistent amount of circulation “consumer magazines remain a strong media presence,” (pg. 334). The key word that should be pointed out is “adult.” These statistics state U.S. adults make up the population of readers, therefore acting as a good reason to continue publication of an employee magazine for such a large corporation.

    These are good reasons to continue print versions of the magazine, but probably the most influential reason is that it drives people to the Internet. In the text, it states the top 3 media for triggering online searches were magazines, articles and TV, (pg. 335). If management’s purpose is to drive readers to electronic versions of the publication, the print version will support this tactic on its own. Oracle’s monthly employee magazine will continue to thrive, and invite people to research the company.

    1. Carmen Bojanowski

      I would also throw in, while discussing the modern appeal of online editions, that they give readers the chance to give their feedback. Not that they really need any more incentive to do an online version, but comment sections are a HUGE selling point when it comes to online vs. print. Letters to the editor don’t allow discussion amongst readers, and so few of them are even chosen to run in the magazine. Not to mention that the letters aren’t published until the next issue, when the story they’re responding to is already old news.

      1. rosedinardo

        Carmen,
        That is such a good point that I didn’t even think about! Online does have the added benefit of having the option for back and forth conversation discussing issues as well as company documentation. This is so important because then if the employees have any issues the company will see it as opposed to snail mail, a phone call, or actually physically talking about it.

      2. lydiaseale

        Carmen,

        Your point about the comments section is an EXCELLENT point! It involves the employee with an opportunity to engage with the material. In my proposal I focused on simply keeping the print newsletter, but I don’t see anything wrong with formatting the newsletter for print and Internet. Print keeps it tangible and accessible, while formatting for the web allows employees that are very connected to electronic media sources to share and distribute the information to an even wider audience, such as family members and friends. For instance, if an employee’s accomplishments are highlighted in the newsletter, they may want to share a link to the article, or if something in the article sparks their interest they can share it with Facebook friends and Twitter followers. I think that making the newsletter in both print and web formats increases engagement and creates a sense of interactivity with the company.

        -Lydia

    2. Raven Gardiner

      Leah,

      I wrote in a comment to Danita’s post that I completely forgot about including their accomplishments. Obviously their print magazine works, so why eliminate it completely? All of their awards came before the online edition so it shows how prominent the magazine is.

      It’s interesting to notice that many of our posts involve the idea of incorporating both print and online. We realize that online is very important but we also notice that print is not going away any time soon. Print is so solidified that it’s not going away and Oracle should understand that.

      It is influential to note that the print will definitely drive people to the internet. It’s something that can not only be used as informative reading material but also another advertising method for the company. It has potential to drive the audience to any of their online platforms. I like how you turn management’s goal around and show that the goal can be achieved while still keeping the print magazine

  2. Chelsea Idzior

    I would tell management that people know and recognize our publication as a print version, and our awards clearly show that we are reaching an audience through a print publication. I would also bring to their attention that abruptly changing to an online publication could decrease our amount of readers if: 1) some readers don’t learn that we are switching and do not know an online publication exists or 2) a lot of our readers would prefer to read a print version, as opposed to an online version. I would let management know that because we have never had an online publication, we have no idea how successful it would be. However, adding an online version of the magazine could be beneficial because we could reach an even larger audience. I would suggest to management that we could do two things: 1) do a survey of our readers and ask who would be interested in the addition of an online publication or 2) go ahead with creating an online publication and use the print version to advertise and spread the word about the new online version of the magazine.

    I do think adding an online version would be beneficial because then you are able to reach those people who use the internet over traditional media sources. However, because the magazine has been so successful as a print publication, I would stress to the management that this is obviously for a reason. We should not discontinue a print publication so long as there is an audience for it and the publication is proving to be an effective communication tool of Oracle’s.

    1. leahprodriguez

      Chelsea,

      You bring up a good point about an online publication and how it might decrease readers. How will people know an online publication is taking over a print version, and furthermore, what if readers aren’t Internet or tech savvy. Another thing I didn’t add in my post was cost. It costs money to run and maintain a webpage and advertisers have to pay more to get their ads online as opposed to on paper. Suggesting a survey would be a good idea, this way you can get the readers opinions and not have to convince management what YOU think is right for the readers, but what the readers think is right for themselves. Having both the print and online is a new thing, look at the Ann Arbor news and annarbor.com. They essentially are the same thing, except the print version only comes out twice a week and online runs stories every day.

    2. Carmen Bojanowski

      I didn’t think about the fact that people may not know that the publication is switching and how it might affect the paper. The age of the readers should be taken into account as well. The younger generation would probably prefer an online version, because we’re always on the go. We don’t want to carry around a magazine, when we can just read it on our smartphones. By switching exclusively to online, though, the older generations readership will probably be lost. My parents still read the newspaper every day, and neither of them even have a smartphone. They can’t be the only people like that, and the people who prefer print materials just goes up as ages do.

    3. DanitaTatum

      It didn’t occur to me that people wouldn’t be aware of the change from a print magazine to a digital magazine. I assumed that there would be some sort of notice sent to the readers that there had been a change in the way the magazine is distributed (or isn’t distributed in this case). I think you make some good points about why the online version wouldn’t be successful and I think getting feedback from the readers is a good idea. Using the print magazine to advertise the online magazine is a really great idea. Maybe the online version offers something that the print version doesn’t, like a fun little game or a quiz of some sort.

    4. rosedinardo

      Chelsea,
      I definitely agree on all of your points. Especially with the survey idea and putting advertisements for the new online version in the print version. That way it’s a gentle push towards the online version so employees don’t get upset and/or confused of there being a switch.

    5. Sophia Williams

      Chelsea,

      I like your idea of a survey. It is important in public relations to keep in mind what the people want and this is a good way to measure this. If our readers would rather have it all online we need to know instead of just assuming that what they want. I also like your idea of publicizing our new online version in the print version. This way readers know where to look for it and know that there is another way to read about us.

      I agree that they shouldn’t discontinue their print version. If there is a demand for it then we should offer it to our public. I also agree that if it is showing a positive turn out that there is no need to change it completely online. It is a good thing to connect with different audiences but if this is what they want then we should honor that.

      Sophia

  3. ginaluttrellphd

    Would you perhaps propose an online AND print version? If so, what types of things would you need to bring up to management about this suggestion?

    Both of you have brought up some excellent points. The sheer reach of people could be one reason a publication should go online.

    1. leahprodriguez

      I think having a print an online version of ANY publication is a good idea. Most papers and magazines already do this, and it’s seemed to be more effective. Think of the people who dislike the Internet, or do not know how to use it, how would they reach the information in the magazine without it in their hands? I would bring up to management that maybe having the print version come out monthly like it already does, but having online stories run throughout the month that didn’t make it into the print version. This way it can keep readers interested in what might be going on with the company and give the people who don’t access the print version a chance to read online whenever they wish. Another thing I would bring up would be we could link the magazine’s site to the company’s site and vise versus. This will create more attention to both the magazine and the company with just one click of a mouse.

  4. Carmen Bojanowski

    I think it’s so important for publications to have an online counterpart. It makes the publication easily accessible, and readable for people who may not subscribe or live near places that carry it. Reader-wise, an online counterpart is imperative.
    However, the way that publications make the majority of their money is through advertising. Though from a magazine or newspaper standpoint, we feel that we get more traffic online and that a print edition may not be necessary, advertisers don’t feel the same way. The product that’s advertised in a magazine most likely has it’s own website. If they wanted to advertise online, they would. They want physical advertisements. They want people seeing their product while they physically flip through a magazine or a newspaper.
    While readership keeps the publication relevant, advertisers keep it afloat, so we have to make sure that we cater to them, first and foremost.

    A way to keep a print publication in demand is having some stories be print-only. Rolling Stone does this and keeps the magazine popular, as well as the website. On their website, they may have a teaser for a big story, but say that you can read the full version in their magazine.

    1. DanitaTatum

      When I think about a magazine, I remember the ads a little more than I remember anything I read so it was interesting that you brought up advertisers.. Advertising would be a big issue if you have a publication solely online because some web browsers allow you to block ads. I think this is the best feature ever, but think about how many ads aren’t being seen because of this feature is. I can honestly say that I hate teasers, but they do the job. I will buy a magazine if I read something interesting related to it online.

    2. Chelsea Idzior

      Carmen,

      I didn’t consider the advertising aspect, but that’s a good point. Many advertisers that they use in the print version might not want to switch over to the online version. As you mentioned, the way publications make the majority of their money is through advertisements. Oracle could lose a lot of revenue if they can’t get their advertisers to transfer over. I like your idea of teasers. Because Oracle is already such a popular magazine, people who read teasers online are probably more likely to buy the print version because it is a credible publication. Also, Oracle could put some of the “less important” articles online, and then supply the teasers for the big stories.

      Also, like you mentioned, there are people who aren’t subscribed to the magazine or might not want to be subscribed. An online version of the publication is a way to draw them in. If they read teasers of the big stories and are interested by them, then they might decide to buy a subscription.

    3. Sophia Williams

      Carmen,

      I never thought about the advertising aspect of it. This is a good point. When advertisers choose to pay for a spot in print they are doing this because they want to reach clients outside of the web. If we don’t have this then there will be no money from them. I like the point you made that if the advertisers wanted to advertise online they would. This is a different way for them to connect with people.

      The other idea you bring up is keeping some information just for print just as Rolling Stones do. This is a good idea to keep people interested. This way the readers that are using online will also use print and vise versa. You are still making a profit while. You can make it easily accessible online as well as keep the print version.

      Sophia

  5. DanitaTatum

    In my proposal, I would highlight the accomplishments of the magazine and discuss how this publication has become a part of the company’s identity. I would also talk about the drawbacks of making the publication strictly online, such as a decrease in readership because not everyone would be happy with an online magazine. Although newspapers and magazines have online publications, they don’t get rid of their print versions. The print magazine is what the company is known for; instead of getting rid of it, the online publication should be a way to expand its reach. The online version would give the company a chance to reach a larger audience and the print version would maintain the audience they already have. Doing away with the printed magazine would lead to a decrease in reader because some people just prefer to have hard copies of magazines. Based on what I read in the book, you wouldn’t have the same format for an online publication that you do for a print publication, so that would be something to take into consideration. Do you really want to create an entirely new format and get rid of one that has led to multiple awards? What if the audience doesn’t respond well to the new format?

    I would suggest doing a test run before making the final decision. That would be telling all the readers that the newest magazine can be found online and asking them for feedback to see what they think of that version of the magazine. Since our goal is to make sure people read the magazine, it would be important for them to have a say.

    1. Chelsea Idzior

      Danita,

      When you mentioned the company’s identity that really stood out to me. I think it is so important to consider what makes up a company’s identity before you make any changes to the company. If people highly associate Oracle’s print publication with the company, or if it is the main way that the company gets publicity, then it is probably best to keep it. I agree with you that the online publication should be a way to expand the magazine’s reach. Oracle is obviously extremely successful with its print publication, and adding on an online publication could only help them by increasing readership. I also like your idea of doing a test run before making the final decision. Asking your readers for feedback is always a good idea. I also mentioned in my post that before even creating an online version you could do a survey to ask your readers if they would be interested in an online version.

    2. Raven Gardiner

      Danita,

      For some reason, I completely forgot about highlighting their accomplishments! If something has been working so well for so long, then why take it away? If they have an award winning print publication then something has to be good about it.

      I share your idea about expanding the readers. Not everyone will like switching over to online and not everyone will do it. They would be losing a ton of readers. I like that you brought up the format. Many people bring up cost that the print holds but there is an additional cost to creating and formatting the online. If they want to do the online, then it may be more efficient to keep them both.

      Getting the consumers involved is always a great idea. People will also have a deeper connection if they know that they had a choice in the matter. It’s a great way to track how many visits the online version gets, to even see if it compares to the print.

    3. lydiaseale

      Danita,

      I think that it was very wise of you to question whether the company was willing to lose readership over the changes. I think that it’s very important for management to be kept accountable for the way their decisions impact the company as a whole. If the format is unfamiliar, it could lead to confusion among employees. Also, asking, “What’s the point?” is a great way to get leadership thinking about the repercussions of the changes they are attempting to make. It would be wise for the company management to take into consideration the number of awards and the sheer effectiveness of the newsletter. I also totally agree with your idea of doing a test run before completely doing away with the print version. Actually asking employees what they would rather have happen would be great, and would honestly be optimal since it is an employee newsletter.

      -Lydia

  6. Raven Gardiner

    As the book says, “the traditional media are very much alive despite the impressive number of people who are online.” (pg. 334) It’s reasonable to think that going fully online is a good idea but Oracle can still reach their audience with the print magazine. I believe that Oracle should keep the print magazine, but adding an online version would be beneficial. It is a computer technology company so it would speak to their trade to have a piece online as well as print.

    With print, average circulation has been in the millions for other companies. This shows that people are still dedicated to print. By eliminating this aspect of the magazine, Oracle would be creating a loss of so many people. There may be a huge number of people who won’t make that transition over to the online version. Are they truly willing to cut that loss?
    Instead of cutting the print version, I propose that Oracle keeps the print version but add on an online version and integrate the two. Our book mentions how the “value- added aspect of traditional media content is that it derives people to the Internet.” (pg. 335) Instead of cutting one and adding a different one, Oracle should be thinking about expanding their audience.

    With the extension of an online version, Oracle would be reaching people that they wouldn’t have otherwise while continuing to capture their current audience. The book also talks about how people Google the topics more if looking at print media. The print magazine should be thought of as a necessary advertising method instead of a costly reading material. This magazine should work with the other tactics that Oracles employs to get the best news out.

  7. rosedinardo

    If I were to propose to Oracle that they need to keep their print version, i would definitely start by pointing out that it is AWARD WINNING. That being said, why not just keep the online version and the print? If all of the employees are already used to reading the magazine in their hands, it might be a tough change. I know that we are approaching a more tech-savvy world everyday, but that still doesn’t change the fact that sometimes it’s just more convenient to actually have the material you are reading in your hands. Another point is that if they were to discontinue the physical copy, it would make it less easy for the employees to just pick it up and read it if it’s say, left in a break room or around the offices. I think it makes more sense to keep both and maybe just print less but to still give them the OPTION, because who doesn’t like options?

  8. lydiaseale

    Dear Management,

    In light of the administration’s suggestion to put an end to print production of Oracle Corp.’s monthly employee newsletter, I have drafted a proposal that explains my reasoning for why this newsletter should be kept.

    First and foremost, this newsletter has been recognized on many levels for its effectiveness within the company. The newsletter clearly emphasizes corporate philosophies of transparency, originality, and customer satisfaction. Having the newsletter in print form allows employees to have a tangible manifestation of their organization. This boosts organizational commitment for employees and increases employees’ understanding of their individual identity within Oracle Corp.

    Print publication also insures that each and every employee can be reached. An online newsletter will reach only those who have access to the Internet, and even in an age where it seems that everyone has a means of electronic communication, there is no guarantee that the newsletter will be accessible to each and every employee. Oracle Corp. prides itself on providing the best products and services by supporting employees, and ending print production of the newsletter may compromise this value.

    Regards,

    Lydia Seale

  9. Ben K. Media

    Here is my proposal to the situation:

    Questions are being asked if our monthly employee magazine should be transitioned from print to exclusively a digital format. I do not believe this is in the best interest of Oracle and could do more harm than good at this time.

    Yes we’re a computer company. Oracle has been a database software leader for over thirty years and will continue to be so no matter the format of the employee newsletter. A digital only edition would limit our potential outside exposure from this resource. A printed newsletter magazine can be used effectively in aiding in customer relationships.

    The cost of printing is high and a place where money can be saved. Our company employees deserve the recognition they receive through the newsletter. The hard work and accomplishments that make us an industry leader also has made this publication an award winner many times. The printed edition is sure to make its way into the hands of many outside of the company through our employees who want to share the accomplishments and recognition.

    print is not dead. Traditional media will continue to be used by everyone. While the numbers are shrinking we still employ many people who appreciate the feel of holding the printed word. A printed newsletter is more impactful than simply reading from a computer screen in a number of ways. There is just something more personal about reading from print over the screen. Both formats give the same information but I believe print reaches us and evokes emotion differently.

    While it is true that we should look at the numbers as a company and consider making changes to the number of copies printed it would be unwise for us to eliminate print completely.

  10. Sophia Williams

    When writing a proposal to management stating my case for why we should keep the print version I would first highlight the current accomplishments. This is important to show how successful the employee magazine has been thus far. I agree that having one online is important. In public relations we want to connect with our audience on different avenues and I think having one online is very effective. However if we would switch to fully online I think it will have a negative effect. I would point this out to management and bring up the idea of doing both. It is great to reach out to a younger crowd online but we need to keep in mind that the older generation likes to read print.

    Before doing this I would look to why it has been so effective and with what clientele. It is crucial to know why our print magazine has been doing so well. An online version might not do it justice. If we are going to do online things would need to be switched around so that we are conveying the same message but through the web.

    I would make my main point be about doing both of them. If it is important to management to get it online I wouldn’t discredit this proposal. I would encourage them to do this but to be wise in their decision to not discontinue their print version. There is a large population that you reach with print and this will be lost if they transform to all online.

    Sophia

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