Keane: July 2011 and the Play (Button's) the Thing
Keane: July 2011 and the Play (Button's) the Thing
A tale of two or 3 (video) tapes
Entries to the 37th International Gallery of Excellence continue to stream in and YES at the request of many entrants 'round the globe, the deadline has been extended to allow all interested graphic arts firms to take advantage of the business building bonanza that the cachet of the imprimatur "International Award Winning" can provide for your firm and perhaps more important - for the firm of your valued client(s).
We wrote to a large number of entrants on Friday 15 July as follows:
"I'm sure I am a horrible pest, it's just that I fervently believe that any firm putting ink on paper, or on any kind of substrate has a huge opportunity to leverage an award won in the International Gallery. There is no great value in getting a news release about the win into our trade industry press (at least I don't think one's competitors are likely to become clients anytime soon!)
That video was posted to You Tube on 7 January 2011.
Jeffrey Hayzlett, former Chief Marketing Officer and VP for Eastman Kodak Co and great friend to so many of us in the global graphic arts wrote a best selling book last year called "The Mirror Test" in which he espoused the power of the 118 -- Jeff posits that you have about 8 seconds to hook someone's attention and then another 110 second to sell them on your unique capability. Less than 2 minutes to market You!. Very hard to do well.
Can printers market themselves in a quick video? Here from New Zealand is one affirmative answer:
That video was posted to You Tube on 30 March 2011.
Like the earlier effort, we think 'putting a face on the firm' is one more arrow in the quiver of marketing direct hits via video.
As you watch this nearly perfect video, consider this - it was the customer who approached the Stevens' brothers in Portland, Oregon about the possibility of featuring their printing firm, Stevens Printing, in a professionally shot video sponsored by the customer. How could Rich and Dave Stevens say no?
That video was posted to You Tube on 28 March 2011
And now consider this -- if you helped a valued client shoot a very short video that saluted a particular project your firm printed for that client, and the video featured the proud and smiling face of the client, and some lovely graphical images of the piece that won and the Gorgeous International Gallery award plaque, and closed with contact details for both the client and your printing/graphics/marketing service firm .... Well who could resist posting that video on their website, on You Tube, on Linked In, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Google+ and otherwise sharing it with their customers and networks and thereby dramatically increasing the possible exposure of your firm's name as an award winning provider well worth contacting?
Leveraged Marketing indeed! Business Building Bonanza indeed!
Now perhaps you are objecting -- my shop has no video production skills! Maybe so, and while a long term strategy review might suggest that this will be essential in your future, for right now you can partner with a local firm with video competency. IAPHC member John Foley, CEO of interlinkONE and Grow Socially has written a must read book for anyone in the global graphic arts. It is titled: "Business Transformation * A New Path to Profit for the Printing Industry" on pages 26-28 John describes how Westamerica Graphics has broaded its services portfolio by partnering with other firms. You can do this, it's called leverage.
OK then. "Say no more, Say no more," sayeth you, emulating Eric Idle in the famous Monty Python skit, "How do I enter some projects for some of my best customers in the 37th International Gallery?" Why you clik this link right HERE.
Here is a photo of his eminence gris, the great guru of the Graphic Arts, Prof. Frank Romano taken during his tour of Concord Litho in Concord New Hampshire last month. The video was run on WhatTheyThink.com (on 8 June 2011) and one notable sequence shows Frank in front of a wall at Concord Litho which is choc-a-bloc full of printing awards won by that firm. Conveniently, Frank just happens to be standing in front of a raft of International Gallery awards won by Concord. Frank is heard to say in the video that Concord Litho is one of the best firms he has visited in a long while. Testimonials of Excellence as evidenced by International Gallery Awards won by Concord Litho (or won by your firm for your CLIENTS) matter more than ever. So just do it, and then video tape it too!
The screen capture image above (those are International Gallery awards over both of Frank's shoulders,) was kindly provided by our friend and fantastic IAPHC member Ali Westcott who is the very effective Communications Director for Concord Litho.
Remember, the cachet of the imprimatur "International Award Winning" tells a new client they can trust you with their project. And for those all important current clients? Well surely you'll agree that client delight is the best emotion of all!
There is still one more facet to your International Gallery participation -- it can result in wholly unexpected new business opportunities for you because we carefully scrutinize every single entry to learn about that entrants unique skill sets. Here is an example of this form of networking in action:
The Sun The Moon and the Gallery Stars are Out!
The Sun & Moon and the Gallery Stars are Out!
P.O. Box 110358
Trumbull, CT 06611
Keane and the Digital Natives
Subject: RE: Membership
On 02/14/11 11:07 AM, David Platz wrote:
I just opened your letter regarding membership for 2011. I just wanted to let you know that I will for sure be joining this year and thank you for sending me the letter.
I look forward to all the doors that will be opened with joining the group!
The youngest of my sons turned 21 in January, meaning he was born in 1990, meaning he is a digital native, meaning he has no memory of a world without the Internet. David Platz is a young man, who is extremely adept at using social networking tools for the benefit of his employer; he is, effectively, a digital native.
The prolific blogger Jane Friedman, guest lectures at the University of Cincinnati and wrote about her impressions of Digital Natives on her blog There Are No Rules - What Digital Natives Can Teach Us About Publishing on 10 February:
"So here is what writers/authors might like to know about so-called "digital native" mindset.
Ms. Friedman is very bright, and I think her observations are intriguing, especially since the IAPHC is all about Connection - "we exist to educate/promote/inform and connect all our members and the global graphic community."
Perhaps you have contact with students, digital natives all, and certainly you agree with the life-long learning requirement our digital age demands.
At the IAPHC we are learning and changing as the Social Network phenomenon alters the landscape on a daily basis.
We are encouraged by the number of folks who are reaching out to us, via social networks like Linked In and Facebook, to say they are joining the IAPHC -- thereby improving our network as Metcalfe's Law reminds.
We hope you will join them too. If you can't wait for a snail mail invoice, here is a link to a very simple enrollment form on our contact page on our website. (six lines below our logo, an MS Word form)
We close with a video we posted to our IAPHC Facebook Group on Monday 14 February.
We think this ought to be required viewing for every graphic arts professional. It comes from McLoughlin in Toronto, was posted to You Tube on 25 January 2011, and is full of many fascinating and perhaps unsettling data points.
International Printing Week 2011
The IAPHC - The Graphic Professionals Resource Network, leads the observance of International Printing Week®, during the week of January 16–22, 2011.
In the summer of 1944, while the uncertain winds of war still raged, a printer from New Jersey proposed that the IAPHC, The Graphic Professionals Resource Network, christen a week long celebration of the craft and art and science of graphic expression. International Printing Week, born in the crucible of wartime, has flourished in the intervening decades as a celebration of the wonderful manner in which we global graphic professionals are able to assist our valued clients in embracing the truth that:
"Print is a Powerful Partner in the Media Mixology."
The above phrase is the theme for the 2011 celebration.
International Printing Week® is a registered trademark of the IAPHC, and all organizations interested in promoting the importance of the printed word in our lives are welcome to take part in this annual event, which is the 67th consecutive celebration of International Printing Week®.
International Printing Week 2011 will directly coincide with the 305th birth date of our patron saint of printing, Benjamin Franklin, on January 17th.
There will be celebrations throughout the world that will honor his many accomplishments as printer and inventor; diplomat and democrat. This is a grand tradition of celebration, and it is in the educational incubators where one sees the reality of the 2011 theme really coming to the forefront. Here for example, is a video from the students of longtime IAPHC member Bill Pavlu, a graphic arts educator in Bergen County, New Jersey, putting their uniquely youthful imprimatur on the 2010 International Printing Week celebrations:
Meanwhile, on the other side of North America, IAPHC Member Dr. Harvey Levenson and his accomplished team at Cal Poly Obispo, put their own stamp on an extended celebration:
In an era when people in and out of the global graphic arts industry express questions about the viability of print, it is-good to see that young and not-so-young alike find the centuries old patrimony of print to be something worth celebrating with creativity and depth.
Mike Donnelly, long time member of the IAPHC - York (Pennsylvania) chapter of the IAPHC commented on his work to keep museum goers understanding the proud tradition of printed expression:
WOW! Thanks a lot!. I hope all is well with you and yours and a Happy New Year to you.I think that I will use this video at an upcoming meeting of the .918 Club. We are still going strong, and I just compiled my figures (for 2010) for the Museum and, remembering that I only demonstrate on 1st Fridays from 3:00 to 9:00 pm and on Saturdays, along with any special groups that request me . . . I have personally enlightened 5,662 fine individuals (visitors) who are now enlightened that Letterpress is NOT DEAD! I find that when I am in the shop, it is not work, but rather a passion and so much fun I have no words to explain the feeling. People in today's world have no idea of the CRAFT until they see exactly what made this country great. They are blown away by seeing the results of all the labor and the quality of the product. And then I tell them that these people did not follow the leaders . . . They were the leaders in their communities.Anyway, thanks again . . . and keep the emails coming in 2011.Mike DonnellyMaster Printer on Duty
Mike refers to the .918 Club, here is the link to that fine group:
The video that Mike mentions is one posted by a very talented International Printing Week chair for the IAPHC, a gent named Al Zowada, who is program chair for the MidHudson Chapter of the IAPHC. Al posted this video link to his Facebook page:
The art/craft/science of creating effective graphic expression by the application of ink to paper has taken a few lumps in recent years, but it is alive and well. And in keeping with our theme this year, as this article confirms, global graphic professionals are using You Tube and Facebook and other tools to remind people that:
Print is a Powerful Partner in the Media Mixology
Take a moment this month to puff out your chest with a little bit of pride in your profession. Print may no longer be a singular or paramount media choice, but it is effective, permanent, portable and real.
Print is a Powerful Partner in the Media Mixology!
Just after we finished this blurb, we received the following message from our great friends at the International Printing Museum in Carson California.
We at the Museum do know that and we are celebrating his 305th birthday Saturday the 15th.
Come join the celebration and hear from Dr. Franklin himself at 11 AM about his life and times. Afterwords we can all Sing Happy Birthday and have a slice of cake.
The Museum opens at 10 AM and the celebrating goes all day. See you there.
Mark Barbour, the curator of the Museum and Dr. Leland Whitson, an erudite docent of the museum are both IAPHC members. If ever in California, make sure you make time for a memorable visit to the International Printing Museum!
The Good Humour Druck
The Good Humour Druck
The Good Humor truck was an icon for many North American kids, an idea that took root in 1920, (only one year later than the inception of the IAPHC in 1919 !) and the unusual marketing philosophy of the firm was memorialized in a 1950's vintage movie:
The word Drupa, is a combination of the German words for printing (druck) and (und) paper (papier.)
In fact the word druck has additional related meanings including "impression," "press," and so on as befits an industry built on a retooled wine press, dreamed up by some fellow named Gutenberg, lo those many years ago.
As we enter the last weeks of 2010 and the holiday swirl engages us, and as we look forward to a more robust 2011, we have noted a real uptick in humor. Not Gallows humor, but general, good spirited, laugh-cause-its-good-for-the-soul humor.
To be sure, tens of thousands of folks who were once gainfully employed in hundreds of printing firms that have been shuttered, may find little joy in this, but for those of us, and we are many, who remain in a changing, molting, mind bending industry, it is good to see folks beginning to smile again.
So, as our holiday gift to you, we share a few of the great moments in smile-ology from the past few months.
From Kelly Press in Columbia, Missouri and posted to You Tube on 10 October 2010:
And from Domtar's award winning "Paper Because" initiative (the campaign was created by International Gallery award winning Eric Mower and Associates) and posted to You Tube on 25 October 2010:
And then from Hemlock Printers In Burnaby, British Columbia and posted to You Tube on 3 December:
And then from Sappi Paper, first the 'trailer' for what is expected to be a series of slightly off kilter, and genuinely goofy little movies in a series called Off Register, this one posted to You Tube on 16 November 2010:
So here from Sappi is episode two of Off Register, called "Luscious"
And finally from our good friend Carol Hansen, president of Action Print in Des Moines, Iowa, a lady who knew in her bones that using a certain title was just wrong: "Only because Goddess of Printing sounded too pretentious," from the Action Print Facebook fan page:
And one more Whoa Nelson!, we just received this wonderful piece from the good folks at RESCO Company in Hudson, Wisconsin:
QR codes shortlived? Artoo-Detoo to U !
QR codes short lived? Artoo-Detoo to U !
This paragraph in the 28 November Minneapolis StarTribune caught our eye:
"Depending on which survey you believe, the number of consumers planning to use smart phones to enhance their holiday shopping ranges from 17 percent to 59 percent, with the majority using their phones to compare prices and search inventories. Google said it has seen a 500 percent increase in mobile searches compared to last year."
Here's the link to the full article by Kara McGuire:
We were slow goers to the social media calliope. We were cautious. We were idjits.
We embraced, finally, the reality that social media tools provided super fast and very easy to use platforms for the rapid sharing of knowledge, a historic goal for the IAPHC which has now re-sized that "Share Your Knowledge" motto into an EPIC value proposition -- "we exist to Educate/Promote/Inform/Connect all members with the global graphic community."
For our purposes, the Facebook Group page approach has proven to be most effective. We began (finally) on 13 May 2010 to use the platform to share a cavalcade of You Tube videos, blog links, articles and more. We micro-blog about each link, to set the stage and perhaps to open a mind. Today we have 423 participants on that Group page from more countries than we can count. The number of C-level executives who are members of the group is impressive and suggestive -- it suggests we are sharing knowledge Epic'ly. If you want to join the conversation, here is the link to the IAPHC Facebook Group page:
Come to think of it, we know another tradition bound profession that adapts somewhat begrudgingly to change, but change it will:
Perhaps it should be expected that our industry with almost 600 years of cherished history might be a little hide-bound. A little set in our ways. After all it was the humble printing press that allowed feudalism to be vanquished, and for the enlightenment of the Renaissance to flourish, and for the democratic instinct to take root. It took decades and even centuries for all these things to take place from the distribution of ink on paper, so why rush into anything?
The next day, (29 November 2010) we read another article -- from 29 November 2009, and this quote caught our eye:
"A permanently altered reality, a new normal, has emerged. At stake is the fundamental capacity of organizations to adapt to rapidly changing conditions — and to do it over and over again. It’s becoming increasingly clear that strategy will not save us. Whatever competitive advantage an organization enjoys today is melting away. The only question is the rate of the melt.
How can organizations sustain competitiveness? The answer is found in the pursuit of learning agility — the ability of an organization to learn at or above the speed of change. Organizations must accelerate knowledge cycles to keep pace with competitive cycles."
Here is the link to the full article:
At the commencement of the year 2010, very few graphic arts practitioners, and by extension, very few of their customers, had ever heard of QR codes. A lot has changed. It is the speed of change.
We know that some have said, "let's wait and see if this QR dealey-bobber is just a fad."
That it isn't, is not the point.
Our industry is being told, no longer cajoled, but TOLD to get with it. Start listening to your customers, understand their problems and work with them in a consultative manner to address the problems and provide solutions, only some of which may require ink-on-paper.
If you listen to your customers, they are wondering if the QR thing is something they need to understand, embrace, and then execute for their customers.
They need folks with a lengthy pedigree in helping to communicate marketing messages to teach them how to use QR codes.
The simple fact is: many many firms are using QR codes to communicate with their customers. Whether it is a hot concept today that will be usurped by something else in 2011 is not the point. The point is the speed of change, you either help your customers or they change providers.
As it happens, we all have a little experimental laboratory under our noses -- it's called the deluge of printed holiday season catalogs. We did a little digging the other nite and found that retailers like Target and Pottery Barn are using QR codes to engage with their customers in new and more immediate ways.
So what, at its essence is a QR code but a graphical image? And don't graphic arts practitioners know something about printing graphical images? So consider, from the Printed Holiday Catalog for the Pottery Barn, a simple explanation for its clientele.
The back page of the Pottery Barn catalog carries this note:
"We've created a mobile-friendly website, so it's easy to shop right on your smart phone. You can also download our new iPhone / iPad app to browse all our latest catalogs. Go to the app store and search pottery barn."
Or consider Target, knowing that the connective power of the response mechanism of a QR code can be used to learn a lot, a LOT about Target customers:
Scattered through-out the Target catalog which was to be delivered in residential post offices between November 24 - 26, 2010 are five or six different QR codes each one taking the person who connects to a different resource:
QR codes can be printed on virtually anything, from labels to corrugated cartons and everything in between. They can be printed by conventional offset, by flexo, by digital, & by super wide format.
They are right in the wheelhouse of graphic arts providers. But printing the code is only the beginning and hardly the end-all solution. The real fun begins with the back end metrics of data collection.
If the QR code is the bait to get your client interested in using this tool with their customers, it is the info to be gleaned from those customers who interact with the QR response mechanism that will really reel in your client, hook, line and sinker. This is no longer just about printing, but it is very much about solutions!
If you want to deal with a firm that understands the challenges of graphic arts practitioners, and is very adept at managing the back story metrics of data collection, then we highly recommend that you connect with Jason Pinto at interlinkONE.
If you want to get up to speed on QR codes and to do so fast, we highly recommend that you connect with IAPHC member Patrick Whelan, with regard his new and excellent QR Code Primer, Pat is president of Great Reach Communications, Inc.
In the meantime, we are going to create a Tiny URL for this Blog article and share it via every social media platform we can use, cause this is no fad.
Early best wishes for a wonderful holiday season, no matter what your tradition.