An American Printer Commentary
By Andy & Julie Plata
Co-CEOs, the OutputLinks Communications Group
Many companies, including Lush, the cosmetics company, have begun moving from social media into alternative channels including direct mail. Lush shares that, "Increasingly, social media is making it harder and harder for us to talk to each other directly. We are tired of fighting with algorithms, and we do not want to pay to appear in your newsfeed. So, we’ve decided it’s time to bid farewell to some of our brand social channels”
In like manner, Forbes reported this month that eBook revenues continue a general downward trend. And with the growth of filters and spam bots, it is common knowledge among marketers that the odds of email communications arriving at the intended destination are steadily decreasing.
Just like in the Disney movie Toy Story, people tend to discard or ignore their old ‘toys’ when they see a new shiny one. BUT, when the new toy begins to fade, it’s time to reconsider the value of the old toy.
As the lure of the new digital delivery systems begins to fade companies will be reevaluating the capabilities of their prior communication channels.
The Best Time to Promote Print
Successful surfers know that “The best time to put your board in the water is when the waves are shifting to their favor.”
So now that the digital waves are shifting, it’s time for printing companies and print vendors to accelerate the promotion of ‘today’s print technology’ and its effectiveness in high impact communications like direct mail, brochures, retail décor, signage and most importantly customer communications.
If you are a print provider company or print vendor, do it NOW - regardless of your size and revenue. If we wait for the ‘big’ companies to do it, the wave of opportunity could be gone before they get their board in the water.
So, get out and promote print’s business effectiveness – NOW!
How to Do It
Here are a few steps for promoting the value of print in your community.
- Create three short stories and about local companies who have benefitted from one of your firm’s print-related projects.
- Every two weeks submit one of the stories to:
- Your local and community newspapers and magazines (they are all hungry for good local success content);
- Your company social media accounts with keywords and hashtags like ‘Business Success’, ‘Business Insights’
- Community forums like NextDoor.
- Invite the company that the story is about to share it with their clients, prospects and social media accounts and newspaper/magazine contacts.
- Rinse & Repeat: After you have sent all your stories, pick three more clients, write their stories and repeat the above steps.
Story Dos and Don’ts
Don’t make the stories be about your:
- Company, its history, it’s awards, it’s people…;
- Printers and related technology;
Do make the stories about:
- Your client company;
- The need they brought to your company;
- The solution your company provided;
- The business gain they received by working with your company;
- How client company’s people were involved in the solution;
- How your company’s people were involved in the solution.
Make sure to include the client company’s logo, photos of the people mentioned and your company’s logo in the story.
Near the close of the client success story, include a photo of and a quote from one of your firm’s senior executives stating how pleased they are to have provided the client with a business-positive solution.
At the end of the story in a separate paragraph, add a few sentences about how your company benefits its clients in the style of an ‘elevator pitch’. Add your firm’s hyperlinked logo and a call to action button for more information about how your firm can help a prospective client.
As the time-out, revaluation period for social versus print media continues, the print industry has an opportunity to reestablish its position as a critical component of the media mix.
As your client success stories are published you will gain a growing cadre of appreciative clients and quite possibly new clients. Try it we think you will like it.
Thanks for Reading
We hope this article, created from our experiences while serving as the ‘business success storytellers’ for clients ranging from some of the world’s largest enterprises to small and medium-sized companies.
Feel free to post any questions, comments or suggestions on our individual LinkedIn pages:
Promoting print-tec for the digital age,
Andy and Julie Plata
The OutputLinks Communications Group
Stay tuned for our continuing Commentary on the evolving print community - its clients, employees, dealers, partners and financial partners.