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In the age of smartphones, the media advertising cliché is that print is dead.

Yes, some publishers are abandoning their dead-tree editions. And for advertising, digital is increasingly attractive because of the metrics it provides. But that doesn’t mean print is a dead medium for campaigns. In fact, for significant voting demographics, nothing can replace the impact of holding a well-crafted mail piece in their hands.

As a longtime vendor to campaigns, I’ve learned there are seven good reasons why print will always be an indispensable element to any winning run.

1. Tangibility
Print is a physical thing. The flyer, the direct mailer, the poster, the door hanger, the lawn sign—it’s something voters see in their mailboxes, on their lawn or drive to work.

2. Longevity
Direct mail, rally flyers, and platform slates remain on office desks, kitchen tables and pinned to bulletin boards for weeks and months. Email blasts and social media postings on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are quickly pushed down the page.

3. Branding
Whether it's billboards, yard signs or direct-mail pieces, print campaigns can solidify your campaign. Consistent messaging in a well-designed format communicates a candidate’s values and goals and establishes a solid image of a winning campaign.

4. Credibility
Print conveys validity. Candidates who commit their values and positions on the issues to paper often engender voters’ trust. The purely digital candidate exists in more abstract terms.  

5. It’s Personal
Voters get to hold in their hands wonderful images of your candidate, a friendlier way of putting a face to a name. Just as television ads are beamed into a family’s living room, mail pieces are often brought into voters’ homes fostering a personal connection between candidate and voter.

6. Targeted Marketing
Print is crucial when marketing to specific demographics. Print material focused on key swing demographics and their relevant issues generates engagement and promotion. Providing talking points on key issues in a printed brochure or direct-mail piece can help your campaign stake out an issue, as well.  

7. Endorsements
Printed material picturing key figures in the community, or named along with the endorsement of organizations or groups, reinforces a candidate’s credibility. The brochure with trusted figures standing shoulder to shoulder with your candidate can shape public opinion and encourage the perception of a groundswell of support.

David Wardlow is an account executive at The Harman Press, a union print shop based in Southern California.