If you need to make an impact, print works

You will see and hear a lot more about the effectiveness and sustainability of print as GASAA and other industry bodies join forces to back the industry’s ‘Paper – part of every day’ campaign. The campaign, aimed initially at media buyers and corporate heads, will promote the effectiveness of print as a key part of the communications matrix. The campaign will seek to dispel the growing mistruths that print is outdated and unsustainable, and that online is environmentally neutral.

This is also the theme of GASAA’s PrintWorks 2010 expo in Sydney. The GASAA executive resolved very early to take a proactive and positive position in the call for one industry marketing voice, and has been impressed with the lead taken by APIA to initially fund and drive this cohesive and focused campaign.

By earmarking a sizeable share of proceeds from PrintWorks, we see this as an important way to give back to the industry in a tangible way. The ability to meet ever-changing consumer needs is a marketer’s challenge. However, the decision to use print media to convey their message should not be so difficult. Consumers have been bombarded with information overload; it is no wonder consumers are literally switching off.

General business conditions seem to be improving and it is hoped this brighter outlook will translate into sales growth for most printers. More sales do not necessarily mean more profit, so the challenge to improve margins will remain. Print is being attacked on the environmental, cost and effectiveness fronts, and this is impacting on volumes. The industry needs to do whatever it can to change the perception of print as “old media” and an easy cost centre to trim. We have the information, and practical examples of the full sustainability and effectiveness of print. What we need now is the industry will, and clear and funded strategies, to turn things around.

Regardless of an improved economic outlook, we see that printers will have to become either extremely lean manufacturers or become value-add communication service providers. There are great opportunities for the industry to reposition print in the communications mix. Print needs to press its claims as an integral part of multi-channel marketing and we should make the next 12 months the time for print to fight back.

GASAA stands ready to work with industry bodies and thought leaders to present a single political and public voice, while continuing to provide valued, low-cost and well-targeted services to members. With planning, one united voice can be achieved to represent all in the industry, while at the same time supporting a smaller number of very effective membership bodies for those wishing to join.

Keep an eye out for upcoming activities organised by GASAA, including the Spotlight Sessions networking events. Further on the horizon is the blockbuster event, PrintWorks. With more than 200 exhibitors, across three halls and five co-located events, don’t miss this great opportunity to take a positive look at the best the industry has to offer.

Garry Knespal is the executive officer of the Graphics Arts Service Association of Australia. PrintWorks 2010 is on 20-22 September at Darling Harbour, Sydney. Go to www.printworks2010.com.au

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