The journey of print and paper lobby group Two Sides to TSA Limited is one filled with colour and passion. Kellie Northwood is a woman of many (paper) hats: Two Sides Australia (Two Sides), the environmental campaign promoting the sustainability of paper, is only one component of the activities of TSA Limited (TSA), with Value of Paper and Print, the marketing effectiveness campaign, and Keep Me Posted, the consumer advocacy campaign it is hard to keep up.
“When we started with Two Sides in 2012, we were like dingoes staring into the headlights, we knew we needed to do something to protect our industry from a pretty strong attack on our environmental credentials, however we just weren’t sure how to do it and how to do it quickly,” Northwood explains. “We launched the first campaign under the umbrella of the Australasian Paper Industry Association (APIA), in a boardroom of a then major print group, filled with what only can be described as youthful enthusiasm.”
The Two Sides campaign was developed from an existing global campaign, which focuses on promoting the environmental credentials of paper and print. In September 2012, Two Sides Australia became an independent entity and operated under its own Constitution.
Two years later, in 2014, the second campaign was launched: Value of Paper and Print, or VoPP, to communicate to marketers and creatives the effectiveness of print. “With VoPP we are talking to marketers, creative agencies and the wider media buying industry to demonstrate the power of print marketing. We provide the tools to communicate its value and strong position in the marketing mix,” Northwood explains. “Whilst the print industry saw value in an environmental message, politically the environmental hysteria had died down, now our industry was under pressure from the new shiny toy in the room – social media – we needed a campaign that demonstrated to marketers that print is still relevant and a powerful tool to keep in your marketing mix.”
Launching with an Industry Report, the VoPP campaign saw the introduction of TSA Limited and the team quickly moved from being branded a ‘green programme’ to one that aligned with global research agencies, Roy Morgan, Nielsen, Ipsos and others to build strong data and case studies to promote print media channels.
“Our members needed sales tools and content to build stories that were not just about printing equipment and pricing. We built, and continue to do so, a library of content that empowered the industry to sell the value of print. When I was selling print as a print rep, I remember at times feeling apologetic, when building the content this was at the forefront of my mind – how can reps use this material when talking to their customers?”
VoPP continued to build, with usable charts for powerpoint presentations, case studies, videos, national roadshows and now launching its own VoPP Mag. “The VoPP Mag is something the team is proud of, a publication (printed), that talks about all the amazing applications of print in current advertising and marketing circles. This magazine is not written for the print industry, it is written for our customers – marketers, creative agencies, media buyers. We will produce it twice a year in the first year and hopefully one day we can move to quarterly. Our members now have a printed publication they can hand out and talk to, it is great work from the Team.”
2016 saw the launch of a third campaign, Keep Me Posted, advocating the consumer’s right to choose how they want to be communicated to by their service providers – free of charge. “With Keep Me Posted, we are giving echo to the voice of Australians who prefer a piece of paper. It still shocks me that something as simple as a desire to have a company send you a physical bill is refused, however it does not stop there, our research on this issue demonstrates that it is the most vulnerable Australians that are disadvantaged the most by these companies decisions,” explains Northwood.
“Companies charging for paper bills and creating additional hardship to Australia’s most needy are super-profitable companies, the impact on these charges is across the board and this campaign is probably my most personal endeavour. We really are committed to providing a voice for those that cannot.”
Three campaigns: One philosophy
Today it is TSA, whilst Two Sides remains a campaign under the stable. The not-for-profit organisation now runs three campaigns with equal passion and commitment. Whether promoting the environmental credentials, the effectiveness of print media or providing a voice to the consumer’s right to choose paper communications, the team is committed to delivering for their members. “Ultimately, we are providing a platform for the entire graphic communications chain from printers on the press, to sales reps, prepress operators or the teams at the mills. Designers, marketing managers or mums and dads, everyone whose world is touched by paper and ink – we are providing a platform that says ‘hey, paper and print are useful, stop telling me to talk to another screen’.”
What is next?
“We continue to push each campaign, in July 2015 New Zealand joined the campaign and we will be focusing on really rolling out the campaigns with PrintNZ, we are looking forward to the launch of VoPP Mag the team has been working this first issue for the last few months and it is always exciting to launch a brand new publication. Last but definitely not least, we are committed to bringing the voice of Australians to the political headquarters in Canberra and will be urging our freshly elected representatives to support the Keep Me Posted campaign and support legislation to protect the humble paper bill,” says Northwood.
When asked if there is a fourth campaign, Northwood laughs, “We’ll see, we’ll see.” Indeed we will and if history provides any insight Northwood and her team won’t rest on their laurels.
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