Information is easier to understand and retain if read on the printed page rather than in digital form, new research shows.
In a survey commissioned by Two Sides, a global initiative to promote the sustainability and attractiveness of print and paper, 84% of 500 UK consumers questioned said they understood, retained or used information read on paper much better than information received on a digital device; 83% stated a clear preference for printed media when reading about more complex topics.
Four out of five people (79%) said that when given the choice they preferred to read on paper. The same number said they found printed media more relaxing.
In contrast, 60% of mobile/smartphone users, including 71% of 18-24 year olds, said they were concerned about the effect of digital devices on their health.
Two Sides director Martyn Eustace said: “The results of the UK survey have lessons for all those who choose the way in which information is distributed, particularly for advertisers, marketers and educators. While on-screen reading occupies an increasing amount of consumer time, people’s preferences are still for a physical reading experience, which they believe to be a ‘safe’ medium that is more informative, less distracting and less harmful to their health.”
Two Sides, which was set up to promote the sustainability and attractiveness of print and paper, has produced a series of 11 fact sheets designed to dispel what it sees as the myths and misconceptions surrounding the sustainability of paper versus digital communications. They include:
“Go Green-Go Paperless” messages are misleading
Harvesting trees through sustainable forestry
Paper is one of the few truly sustainable products
Paper is one of the most recycled products
Paper production supports sustainable forest management
Paper’s carbon footprint is not as high as you think
Print and paper play a key role in learning and literacy
The paper industry uses a lot of renewable energy
Why challenge anti-paper environmental marketing claims?
Wood-based paper and non-wood based paper.
Following the success of last year’s promotion, the Pilot Pen Company is once again inviting consumers to put pen to paper in its summer postcard competition. Part of the company’s #HappyWriting initiative, #PilotPostcard2015 combines online and offline activity with a top prize of a three-night Forest Holiday for four people worth £800. It runs from July 20 to September 1 and all entries must feature hand-written content.
Stuart Barker, marketing manager for Pilot, said: “We first launched this competition last summer, adding a new dynamic to our usual click-and-enter mechanics. Shared via our social channels, the competition required people to write and send a postcard to Pilot sharing their favourite summer memories. The response was absolutely fantastic. We didn’t just get postcards, we got some really creative entries; cards covered with children’s drawings and poetry about their best summer moments. We decided then and there that we’d repeat the initiative in 2015.”