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Executive Message

The Case For The
Printed Page (On Paper)

Jerry Knight president, IMARK Electrical
Steve Ruane vice president, Marketing
Steve Wright Vice President of Supplier Relations
Jill Baker Chief Financial Officer

Welcome to the new and enhanced version of IMARK Electrical Now.

We hope you enjoy reading this fresh new version of our magazine. Thanks to our long-time publisher CMA for all the work they’ve done to make our magazine even more engaging and readable.

Our magazine is a labor of love, a source of pride and one of the most important ways we honor and celebrate IMARK Electrical member distributors, our preferred suppliers and our great industry.

During the pandemic, we were like a lot of businesses that questioned the need for a printed version of our magazine. After all, we have built a robust digital edition of the magazine and we were mailing thousands of printed copies to (temporarily) empty offices across North America.

As we considered our options, we did some research on the differences between reading printed material and digital materials. Here were some of the findings:

Print is easier to read than digital text. According to Anne Mangen, a literacy professor at the University of Stavanger in Norway, “Print reading is kind of like meditation—focusing our attention on something still. I think it’s healthy for us as human beings to sit down with something that doesn’t move, ping, or call on our attention.

Print is visually less demanding than digital text. It provides spatial and tactical cues to help readers process words on a page. Mindset may also be a factor. If people associate screen time with casual web-surfing, they may rush through without fully absorbing the text.”

Other studies found that digital reading breeds overconfidence. “We read digital text more quickly so we think we must understand it better,” according to Laura Singer Trakhman, who studies reading comprehension at the University of Maryland, College Park. “It’s one of the best parts of our digital world—everything is at our fingertip, and we can get the headlines in a second—but it may also be one of the pitfalls. Everything is so quick and accessible that we may not be truly digesting [what we read] anymore.”

Both scientists agree digital is fine to scan news headings for main ideas, but longer complicated texts are best read in print, especially to retain the details.

Obviously, digital reading is here to stay—and that’s great. At the same time, our new format demonstrates our ongoing commitment to print media.

We always hope that our readers pick up at least one idea that could lead to increased job satisfaction, sales, market share, profits. That is the rationale for the magazine.

Finally, we’d like to thank our loyal advertisers, without whom this magazine would not be possible.