Harvey R. Levenson, Ph.D.


A strategic planning report for graphic communication service providers and content creators—insight into the value people see in different media.

WHAT DOES MEDIA MEAN TO YOU? covers an anonymous survey administered to individuals and groups—businesses, social, service, education, special interest groups, and so on. It was administered to people of all ages, walks-of-life, occupations, and interests.

The study provides a broad sweep of media choices across the population, but the data allows business professionals to draw more specific conclusions to serve their interests for strategic planning or for members of the general public to explore media options and effectiveness.

We often hear that “print is dead” or that the Internet is the future. This study looks at what people think about their media options, as their options have grown tremendously over the past decade. It serves as a strategic planning document for media professionals and organizations such as advertisers, marketers, publishers, printers, website developers, educators, media buyers, industry associations, and others. The study also serves as a guide to media effectiveness for students, parents, and other media users.

Typically, the products of the graphic Communication industry are focused on traditional vertical markets offering products and services such as Automotive, Education, Financial, Healthcare, Insurance, Real Estate, Sports, Travel & Leisure, Utilities, or others. This study suggests that a more effective focus would be on what is termed “Media Verticals,” for serving the interests that people have in Remembering Information, Receiving Detail, Being Entertained, Being Educated, Making Decisions, or Being Informed.

It provides a sense of what people in all walks of life perceive as the communication value of different media. A study of this nature has never been conducted for the graphic communication industry, and presents some surprises.

A literature search includes 33 contemporary articles covering the pros and cons of traditional and digital media.

Research methods include an anonymous survey and content analysis from a broad range of demographics across age, gender, education, and occupation including business professionals, chambers of commerce, professional associations, publications, service clubs, students, teachers, and general population.

More specifically, the study explores how the public perceives print and non-print media. The results, for the first time, provide clues to content creators and service providers, such as commercial printers and publishers, and related companies on where to diversify, invest, and reinvent themselves to provide communication media that the public desires for different purposes. The results also provide information to those who purchase media on what is perceived by the public to be most effective for fulfilling different communication purposes.


Twelve print and non-print media were explored via respondent responses to: Which of the following is the best for:

  • Helping You To Remember Information?
  • Providing You With Detail?
  • Entertaining You?
  • Educating You?
  • Influencing Your Decisions?
  • Informing You?

THE MEDIA explored are:

  • Books
  • Catalogs
  • CD or DVD
  • Electronic Tablets
  • Internet/WWW
  • Magazines
  • Movies
  • Newspapers
  • Printed Advertisements
  • Radio
  • Smart Phone
  • Television

THE OCCUPATIONS explored are:

  • Administration/Management
  • Clerical
  • Education professional
  • Food services
  • Healthcare
  • Information Technology/Electronics
  • Media
  • Non-profit
  • Professional
  • Retail
  • Retired
  • Student
  • Trades
  • Transportation
  • Other

A “sample size” table was used to determine the possible error rate based on the number of surveys completed. For this survey, 453 responses were received from an estimated population of 3,000. The approximate error rate is between +/- 3% to +/-5%.

Press Release

Read the the official press release here.

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