Pettaras ready for maiden PIAA board term

PIAA honorary secretary Theo Pettaras is looking forward to kicking off his two-year term on the board of the printing industry association.

Pettaras and all other new board members tenure came into effect on January 1, 2019.

As the honorary secretary he says he’s looking forward to reaching out to printers and helping pass on some of the knowledge he has gained after many years in the industry.

Pettaras and his team at Digitalpress have undertaken their own business transformation positioning themselves well for a positive five year growth.

“For me it’s a great opportunity to reach out to other printers and also for them to reach out to me,” Theo told ProPrint.

“I don’t look at other printers as competitors. We are all passionate about print and our common goal is to promote print to all our customers, educate them and provide compelling reasons why print should always be considered an important part of the marketing mix. Some are doing it better than others, our big competition is other disruptive marketing technologies. When we first started Digitalpress in 2005 Hashtags, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were non-existent.

“We have to have our ears to the ground and to be able to share information without feeling threatened and that’s what we all have to do, we have to watch each other’s back.

“Transitioning a business is a daunting experience and we need to help our members as much as possible. I have great contacts with our counterparts in the USA and hope to bring some very high profile experts this year to speak which I feel will significantly benefit our members.”

The central issues Pettaras is wishing to champion on behalf of the industry is power prices, upskilling printers so they can survive the digital disruption and looking at a tariff option to make it less attractive to send big print jobs offshore to China.

“We do have to have a much louder voice in the industry, we are just not loud enough,” Pettaras says.

“The printing industry is Australia’s largest manufacturing sector and we are doing it tough, we’ve been completely disrupted by technology and how do you help and support all those businesses with debt, all those businesses with employees, it’s a big deal and I think it’s underestimated.”

PIAA chief executive officer Andrew Macaulay says the new board has a strong desire to actively engage with the membership.

“They (the board) are truly representative of the industry because for the first time in quite some time we’ve got operational printers in every state covering every type of small digital operation through to large offset large web and packaging so there’s been a lot of communication and everyone is looking forward to an exciting year,” Macaulay said.

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