"Underinvesting" In Print?

"The Rumors Of My Demise Are Greatly Exaggerated"

The Best Gun Stories Are Still Told In Print

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize why I am such an advocate for print. As someone who came up through the publishing ranks, reveling in the thumb-smear of ink coming off fresh newsprint, the sharp smell of stop bath in the darkroom and the excited terror of a looming deadline, I love everything about “legacy” publishing.

“That’s a nice story, grandpa,” you say, “but wake up, print is dead! Everybody knows it!”

Well sir, Pappy respectfully suggests “they” are wrong. Dead wrong. And a few hundred thousand FMG readers also disagree. Now fetch me a full glass of my “rheumatism medicine” and be still!

This diatribe was inspired by a recent article I read (not ironically) at WhatsNewInPublishing.com. The article explained why advertisers are missing the boat when it comes to where they’re spending their money. I’ll cut right to the heart of the matter with this quote from the story: “At an aggregate level, the market is underinvesting in magazines and not achieving the optimum profit ROI that they could be.”

Not the best grammar but you get what you pay for …

Digital is certainly the big dog of the advertising world for the foreseeable future. However, after sitting in on many sales meetings as editor, it’s become clear digital advertising is like a multi-tool — useful for many things but not great at most.

“The smart marketing managers are realizing — or never forgot — if they want to sell things like guns, print is still the prime way to reach the consumer.”

This concept has been demonstrated countless times. While a YouTube “influencer” might have 5 million views and sell a few holsters, my (typically older and more affluent) readers indulge themselves reading GUNS every month and then go buy the featured firearms and other expensive shooting paraphernalia, sometimes several copies.

Most importantly, I have the reader mail to prove it.

GUNS Magazine and American Handgunner subscriber, Ron Bruce.

“I still get excited when I see GUNS or American Handgunner in the mail. I strongly recommend both publications to my Colorado concealed carry permit classes. I just renewed GUNS for another two years even tho’ I was already good through most of 2021.”

—Ron Bruce, Hinsdale County, Colo.

I’ll still keep reading my daily news online and when I need a break, switch over to YouTube and watch various fools demonstrate why the gene pool occasionally needs a little chlorine. However, I’ll also keep subscribing to several magazines and if I somehow end up as a marketing professional in our industry, I’ll know the best place to sell the new Whizzbang Slamfire 5000 pistol: Those crisp, glossy pages of our “dead” art form.