Print is gearing up in its battle for the hearts and minds of the Australian public, the print buyers, the corporate, and government. Joe Kowalewski from PIAA outlines the latest initiative aimed at helping printers to win the war
Printing Industries has launched an expansive online resource centre to arm printing companies with the knowledge to promote print, in addition to selling it.
The association believes that the very success of print on paper as a communication medium over the centuries has led many people to take it for granted, but with the environmental and electronic coalition constantly attacking print, it is time for everyone in the industry to work together to raise the profile of print.
Joe Kowalewski, national communications and technical services manager at Printing Industries, says that every printing and related industry company in this country, and everywhere else, needs to add a new element to its business plan: print promotion.
He says, “So what do we do to fight the fight that many, even within our industry, claim has already been lost? Well for starters, we educate from the ground up using the power of the print manufacturing resources available in just about every suburb in Australia.
“Everyone in print, whether an owner, manager, sales, admin and production staff, has a responsibility as well as a business incentive to do this. Firstly, we educate ourselves, our staff, customers, friends, family, schools, clubs we belong to or sponsor, government – in fact everyone because that’s what print can do.
“What we don’t do is wait for someone else to do it, for example major newspaper organisations with the capacity to influence government election and policy outcomes or major national organisations like Australia Post whose existence depends on the printed word and who have access to ever letterbox in the country. To be effective this has to be every printer’s campaign because you can do it best, targeted, personalised and showcasing the sustainability, usability, creativity, flexibility and compatibility of print with any and all other mediums.”
Kowalewski says a key to being able to do this effectively is to have access to authoritative information, ideas and collateral to help build up the necessary knowledge.
He says, “To this end Printing Industries has opened a Print Promotion section on its website to provide everyone with ready access to local and international research material, promotional ideas even print optimised files that you can personalise and use in your own campaigns.
“From here you can download and personalise for your own use a proforma letter developed by the Sustainable Print Alliance to Australia’s top 200 companies as part of a campaign to counter the trend towards e-communication and misinformation being circulated about ink on paper.”
The letter provides some very useful and interesting information. For instance it dispels the distribute and print myth so prevalent in certain companies. It says, ‘Many companies are encouraging recipients of e-communication to print these materials on office printers based on the premise that this is a more environmentally friendly platform. The facts demonstrate otherwise:
‘In-office printing of a single page A4 document in black consumes the same amount of energy it takes to produce 100 A4 pages, printed both sides in colour, on a commercial printing press.’
The letter states that commercially printed communication materials are today more environmentally sustainable than ever before and provides some very useful facts that everyone should commit to memory.
The Printing Industries website also contains a Print Optimised Promotional Material section featuring two brochures and three posters developed by the Australasian Paper Industry Association promoting an insight into printing industry recycling practices, and the natural sustainability of paper.
Kowalewski says that the arguments in favour of electronic communication versus printed communication are tackled in a new publication Down to Earth published by International Paper (USA).
He says, “Down to Earth poses the question: Are pixels greener than paper? It provides a series of sustainability issues and adopts a rational approach to exploding myths and highlighting synergies.”
In an Insight it states: “The future sustainability of our society is dependent upon sustainable supply chains over the lifecycle of the medium with which we choose to communicate. The ultimate question is not electronics or paper, but what combination of these has the least total impact on our environment.”
On the sustainability question it states: “Paper is truly sustainable, with waste fully recoverable, ready for recycling into new paper. When people use more paper, landowners plant more trees. Electronic devices don’t grow on trees. The electronic industry continues to grow rapidly. Based on current non-renewable raw materials and escalating energy demands, this growth is unsustainable.”
Why Print? The Top Ten Ways Print Helps You Prosper is a 22-page booklet by the Print Council (USA) that articulates the advantages of print in ten key points, with supporting statements backed by research readily adaptable to any print market. See box on page 28.
Koweleski says, “One example of supporting content - Print plays well with others - states: ‘Print enhances the impact of all of those media by providing your client’s prospects with an extra dimension. One that’s friendly. One that’s warm. One that’s inviting. And, one that they can’t very well ignore because they’re holding it right in their hands’.
These resources and many more are available from the Print Promotion section of www.printnet.com.
Kowalewski says, “We encourage everyone in the printing industry to make use of these resources which will be regularly updated as more information becomes available to us. We also encourage industry companies to share any resources they have developed as we are all working for the same cause, the promotion of prints”.
Commercial print is sustainable
• Paper is produced using a renewable resource – timber
• Sustainable timber harvesting is Greenhouse Gas emissions neutral
• The paper industry plants more trees than are harvested. It is estimated that there are 25 per cent more trees today in the developed world than in 1900
• Paper and printed communication can be completely recyclable
• Since 1990 energy consumption and Greenhouse Gas emissions per tonne of paper produced has declined by 21 per cent and 22 per cent respectively
• Water used per tonne of paper production has reduced by 63 per cent and is recycled up to five times
• Biofuels deliver around 46 per cent of energy needs in pulp and paper production
• Current printing technology is up to 60 per cent more energy efficient than 20 years ago, with solvent and water use reduced by 90 per cent since 1990
• Printed communication is permanent, portable and easily re-read without requiring additional energy.
Top ten ways print helps business prosper
1. Print is for keeps
2. Print is portable
3. Print drives a higher ROI
4. Print is beautiful
5. Print plays well with others
6. Buyers seek print
7. Print is credible
8. Print puts them in control
9. Print is personal
10. Print is everywhere
The Sustainable Alliance comprises Printing Industries Association of Australia (Printing Industries), Australian Paper Industry Association (APIA), Graphic Arts Merchants Association of Australia (GAMAA); Australian Direct Marketing Association (adma) and the Australian Catalogue Association. It has a supporting website www.sustainableprint.net.au which also accessible from PrintNet.com.au