A New Age-Old Question

Like many of you, we struggle with deploying resources to deliver a top-notch product in a dynamic world

February 27, 2019
Professional Builder digital and print offerings_Pro Builder magazine covers

They say you’re only as old as you feel, and for the most part, I believe it. That is, until I forget why I walked into a room or have to lean back in my chair to read a menu. Then I feel closer to my age. 

I also get that feeling when I attempt to engage social media and digital tools beyond the basics, and I suspect (backed by a bit of intel) that some of you, our readers, feel the same. And while digital ignorance and ineptitude isn’t necessarily age-related (like my diminished memory and eyesight), it is a fact that my formative years were marked by rotary phones and mix tapes. I didn’t grow up in the internet age, so I sometimes find it difficult to participate in the increasing variety of tools it affords or enables … and it certainly isn’t top of mind when I go to a restaurant or on vacation, as it appears to be for others. 

At the risk of committing reverse ageism, I think it’s fair to say that those of you under the age of 40 are far more familiar with and engaged in that realm. You are more likely to look for and appreciate a social media post than your older counterparts who prefer (and this is recent reader research talking) the print version of this magazine. 

And therein lies the rub: Who do we write for? It’s easy to say, given our readership and their stated preferences for print over digital content (by far), that a monthly print magazine should be our top priority—but at the expense of ignoring hipper (if not always younger) sets of eyes that swipe through pages instead of turn them? Definitely not.

We do, and should, have a presence on and regularly post to the most prevalent social media platforms, as well as a website and a digital version of the print magazine. But is that content getting to a readership that still values mail over email, or resonating with those who engage us digitally? How much stock, and thus effort, do we put in the number of friends and followers, click-throughs and bounce rates, likes and comments? 

We appreciate those of you who check our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter, and we want to make those and other digital experiences more fulfilling. But, like many of you, we struggle with how to effectively deploy our resources to deliver a top-notch product in a dynamic world.

We’re working to streamline our processes to deliver useful, timely, and actionable content at a high level and on a consistent basis across multiple platforms. I hope you’ll continue to engage us with ideas and comments so we can properly gauge their value to you, and to us.

Editor-in-Chief

Rich Binsacca is Professional Builder’s editor-in-chief. He has served as an editor and frequent contributor to several housing and building construction-related print and online publications, and has reported and written about all aspects of the industry since 1987.

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