Paper Checkoff Board Takes Podcasts Analog With New Magazine

The Paper and Packaging Board teamed with a number of popular podcasts and a major bookstore chain to highlight the value of paper in heavily stylized form.

The world of podcasting is great for your ears, but a new endeavor by a paper industry group is aiming to take some of that excitement into printed form.

This week, the Paper and Packaging Board, a commodity checkoff program overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that supports manufacturers of paper products, released content from a number of popular podcasts—including 99% Invisible, Grammar Girl, Song Exploder, and Dear Sugars—in a magazine form called Pod Papers.

For the endeavor, the board worked with illustrators to come up with ways to visualize the podcasts and create a cover concept that featured a pair of paper headphones. The board also used ultra-high-quality paper for the endeavor and teamed with one of the largest sellers of preprinted paper in the country, Barnes & Noble, on the distribution front. The magazine can be picked up for free at the bookstore’s many locations around the country. (Barnes & Noble’s own podcast, B&N Podcast, is part of the endeavor.)

The idea behind the collaboration was to create something that took a similarly thoughtful approach to the podcasts themselves.

“Our culture, though increasingly digital, is in the midst of a moment of reflection. For many, turning digital into analog is helping fuel inspiration and creativity,” the board’s president Mary Anne Hansan, says in a news release. “Pod Papers is our answer to this cultural moment—it’s meant to be pored over and become a keepsake.”

The initiative is just the latest effort by the paper industry to highlight the appeal of the ultimate nondigital product. In 2015, the board launched an advertising campaign, “How Life Unfolds,” to highlight the benefits of the pulpy stuff. The effort is responsible for a variety of commercials and a website full of paper-related content.

The illustration on the front of the "Pod Papers" magazine. (Handout photo)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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