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Doremus study finds senior execs prefer print

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While many senior executives are shifting their media habits to include increased use of online and other technologies, the majority prefer print, holding it as a trusted source of information and for in-depth analysis, according to new research from Doremus and the Financial Times.

The study, which was based on an online survey of more than 600 executives worldwide, examined the media habits, technology usage and attitudes of senior executives. Nearly half the respondents had C-level titles.

While senior executives today have shifted to more electronic media during work compared with five years ago, they still showed a preference for print.

Fifty-nine percent of executives said they trust print over online sources of information, and 64% said they pay more attention to print ads than online ads.

The study also found that 60% of executives turn to print when they want in-depth analysis.

When asked to respond to the statement, "Print media are becoming obsolete," 73% of senior executives disagreed. Just 29% of executives agreed with the statement "The Internet meets all of my information needs."

"There is still a very strong allegiance and loyalty to print for in-depth analysis and for the value of advertising," said Carl Anderson, CEO of Doremus.

The study examined the mix of traditional and online media used by senior executives while at work compared with five years ago.

Five years ago, 14% of executives said they used all traditional media; 54% said they used 75% traditional and 25% electronic media; 25% had a 50/50 split between traditional and electronic media; and 7% used 75% electronic and 25% traditional media. None reported 100% use of electronic media.

Today, 1% of executives still use traditional media exclusively; 14% use 75% traditional media and 25% electronic; 37% have a 50/50 split; 45% use 75% electronic media and 25% traditional; and 3% said they use all electronic media.

The research also examined which media senior executives prefer as their primary choice for different topics.

  • For industry issues and trends, 44% prefer print; 14% go to events; 27% read e-mail or e-newsletters; and 15% use Web sites.
  • For professional issues and skills, 37% prefer print; 29% go to events; 21% read e-mail or e-newsletters; and 13% go to Web sites.
  • For general news, 47% prefer print; 3% go to events; 23% read e-mail or e-newsletters; and 27% go to Web sites.

The survey also asked executives which new media platforms they use sometimes or frequently at work.

Seventy-seven percent use texting, 69% watch webcasts, 45% watch streaming video, 39% listen to podcasts and 18% participate in virtual worlds.

The survey also looked at regional differences among senior executives with regard to how they use technology.

For example, 60% of North American executives and 58% of European executives said it is always in bad form to e-mail in meetings, compared with only 39% of Asian executives.

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