Quality Magazine

The Last Word: The ‘How' of Quality

March 30, 2010


Imagine a nice spring day and sitting on a comfortable chair on your deck. You catch up on the latest sports news. Or, you’re at 30,000 feet and flying to an important meeting. You want to catch up on some new technology or strategy for improving your manufacturing processes. It’s late at night and you end your day by brushing up on which long-term investment strategies you should choose. How are you most likely gathering that information in these instances?

Despite all the media hype about iPad, Android, Kindle or the Net, more than likely you have a magazine in your hands. Despite all the media hype, print publishing is far from dead and the numbers bear that out.

More often than not, I use this space to address some issue in quality or manufacturing, or the politics, economics or environment surrounding it. However, equally important to those issues, on a practical level, is “how” you receive that information.

I recently spent three days in New York City at a media conference that included numerous discussions about print, mobile, the Web and other forms of communicating with one’s audience. Numerous presentations and discussions focused on the increased use of new media, but all the participants agreed that print was an invaluable tool that was still relevant.

“It’s not an ‘either-or’ proposition,” said Cathie Black, president of Hearst Magazines, about print vs. new media, “It’s both.” Black and her counterparts at Meredith, Time Inc., Condé Nast and Wenner Media have teamed up with a video and ad campaign (www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGVniqgWSc0&feature=player_embedded) that focuses on the power of print.

While in a somewhat different environment than Hearst and other consumer-related publications, Quality supports this message and effort because we know a print magazine creates a bond between you and the information that no other media can duplicate. All media has its place and works together to bring your message to the buyers of your technology and services. Certainly Quality uses the Web, relays news through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and can be accessed via Blackberry and iPhone, and yet we still continue to print Quality on paper-and plan to continue to do so. More than 92% of you choose to receive Quality in print, which tells us that it plays an important role in learning the latest about quality technology and solutions.

“The [media] pieces all work together,” said Peggy Northrop, vice president and global editor in chief of Reader’s Digest, “with the consumer of that information in the middle.”

I know you use our other products, such as Quality Online, Quality Update e-newsletters, Quality Measurement Conferences, digital editions, webinars, podcasts, videos, mobile applications and more. Electronic products allow us to extend the Quality reach to a global audience and provide you with convenient means of accessing quality related news and information while you’re on the go.

Each successive development in technology-movies, radio, television, the Internet, mobile devices-has always been heralded with the news that the previous technology will “die” and be replaced. That has never happened. As Northrop points out, each serves the audience in a unique way and you continue to demonstrate that fact every day and every month. We’ll continue to bring you a print publication because you have told us it’s what you are most interested in receiving. We’ll continue to explore new ways of communicating with, and informing, you because you’ve told us you want that too. We agree with Northrop’s and Black’s perspectives because you’ve told us that’s how Quality meets your needs.

How do you use various forms of media? Share your thoughts with me at williamst@bnpmedia.com, or share your thoughts with other members of the Quality community at the Quality Magazine LinkedIn Group page, the Quality Facebook page and on Twitter. Of course, you can always sign up for a paper copy of Quality and can even still send a letter to the magazine.