In the Name of Print: How Printing Industries of America and Affiliates Are Fighting to Promote the Value of Print (Part 1)

Today there is a great need for education on the effectiveness and sustainability of print. There are many common misconceptions to counteract, but it takes more than one voice to spread the message.

Together Printing Industries of America and our Affiliates have developed distinct, dedicated pro-print campaigns, Value of Print, Choose Print, and Print Grows Trees. They share one core mission—to educate and increase awareness of print’s vitality using the latest facts and statistics from the most reliable sources. Industry members look to these resources for collated information and tools to promote the vitality of print.

In this three-part blog series, we will look at each of these campaigns. You will hear directly from the campaign leaders about the effects these campaigns are having on the industry and examine how they are fighting to help educate print buyers.

Lisa Rawa understands how important print is in multi-media marketing. As Vice President of Marketing for Printing Industries of America, she has been at the forefront of the Value of Print campaign that’s combined print, Web, and mobile to communicate the vitality of print since 2009. Thanks to great publicity opportunities, you can say this campaign is “breaking new ground” for the print and graphic arts industry.

1. To complement the Value of Print Flip-Book, you’ve incorporated a dedicated webpage and mobile app. In what ways have you seen people use these online and offline tools to defend the value of print?

LR: The Flip-Book has been a huge success. Our users tell me how pleased they are to have this resource to display on their desk and even in their company lobbies for clients to read.

As a multi-media campaign, the Value of Print was designed to allow the print and graphic arts community access to important information anytime, anywhere. To do that we knew we wanted a digital complement to our printed Flip-Book. Our website not only allows you to view facts, articles, and other resources, and you can also download a PDF of the Flip-Book to distribute to clients. With the app, they can just use their smartphone or tablet to get Value of Print facts. There’s also a searchable Print Market Atlas that lets you find national, state, and regional print statistics.

Print professionals tell me that they use the Value of Print app during client meetings or at conferences and tradeshows like GRAPH EXPO to educate their customers. Teachers are some of our most enthusiastic supports who not only use the tools but also encourage their students to use them as well.

2. The Value of Print campaign has even crossed boundaries into public television. In 2013 it was featured in the public television produced In Focus video where you, along with Tim Burton, President, Burton & Mayer, and [then] Chairman of the Board, Printing Industries of America; Michael Makin, President and CEO, Printing Industries of America, were able to reach a whole new audience. What effects have you witnessed from this strong advocacy both within and outside the industry?

LR: We were honored to be a part of the public television feature. The effects of the In Focus video—as well has the Value of Print campaign as a whole—have been overwhelmingly positive. As soon as the video aired, immediately I started receiving emails and phone calls commending our efforts to educate audiences on the sustainability and effectiveness of print. The greatest benefit has been the wide exposure our industry received from this broadcast. I think the viewership has learned a valuable lesson from the video, and it helped to break down a lot of misleading perceptions about print.

To watch the seven minute In Focus: feature, click here.

3. For 2014 you added all new data to the Value of Print Web and mobile tools. What facts do you find most surprising? What does this new research mean to the industry?

LR: We were excited to take advantage of our digital tools to enhance our message. With updated information on the website and app, we’ve added new features—the interactive Print Market Atlas is not new—you could do that before. We just updated the info. On the app, you’ll find the interactive 2012 Print Market Atlas. On the webpage there’s new facts posted each month in 2014 (on www.printing.org/ValueofPrint). These updates have given our users all new information to communicate the facts about print.

One fact that’s particularly surprising to me was that the digital generation is shown to favor print ads over other media, such as TV, radio, and Web. My teenage son seems to be connected to a phone or tablet constantly, so it was eye-opening to learn that print still has a significant effect on their age group. I think this information is incredibly valuable to industry members who need to demonstrate the effectiveness of print advertising on various target markets.

Also, the latest surveys are saying that consumers are getting wise to “greenwashing.” One source reports that 87% of consumers believe that money is the main reason companies ask them to switch to electronic-only communication, not to save the environment.

I think what we’re seeing from the newest statistics like these is that print is a vital part of the marketing mix. Even in the evolving communication environment, with the introduction of email, social media, and other digital technology, the printing industry has had to adjust to a lot of changes. But the truth is, consumers are more informed, and print has a significant influence on their decisions. As a result print buyers are learning that the all-digital approach is just not as effective. As we continue to innovate and embrace these new technologies, the printing industry will evolve and survive.

To learn more about the Value of Print, visit www.printing.org/valueofprint.

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