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Business Is Booming For the GPO —Cagle

May 2007
BITS AND PIECES

JUST WHEN you think that Democrats aren’t good for anything but second-guessing Republican leadership in the White House, along comes a Washington Post report that could suggest the Dems are good business for printing.

The Democratic-led Congress has a five-day work week, as opposed to the three days per week logged by its Republican-heavy predecessor. That translates into a greater need for printing by the Government Printing Office (GPO), especially areas such as the Congressional Record, the daily report that averages 250 pages. According to the Post, it helped push the GPO’s annual printing costs an additional $3 million.

Robert Tapella, chief of staff for the GPO, told the paper that the shift in party control created a swell of need for stationery—Democrats in new leadership posts, incumbent Republicans in minority roles, freshman lawmakers. The growth in print has been so great that the GPO requested $110 million to cover congressional printing and binding costs in the next fiscal year, $26 million more than the current budget (though $8 million is needed to cover the agency’s deficit, according to the Post, since the budget was not increased despite increasing print demands and costs for things like wages and paper). The U.S. Code, printed every six years, has to be published in the next fiscal year.

Roughly 92 percent of everything the GPO publishes is available in e-format, the Post reported, and it produced the first online edition of the Record earlier this year.

It’s important for us to get behind the effort that supports maintaining hard copies.

WILL PRINT FOR TUITION: Like many people, I tend to glaze over e-mail when there are 50 or more idling in the old inbox on a Monday morning. It takes precision timing, a catchy subject line and a real sounding company (not Paradigm Integrated Solution Specialists) to make me invest .8 seconds in opening the missive.

This one worked recently. It was titled, “Now is the time from Fred Buck @ O’Neil Printing.” Seeing the name Buck O’Neil separated by just the “at” character helped reel in my inner baseball child (which also happens to be my outer child). And since I’ve chatted before with Fred—a musician and perhaps the greatest print salesman Phoenix has ever witnessed—he had my undivided attention.

Take notes, marketers. . .

“Dear Erik:

“My 17-year-old twin daughters have officially been accepted at American University in Washington, DC, (Laura) and Emerson College in Boston (Sarah).

“Laura will be majoring in political science, and Sarah in writing for film.

“The subject line of this e-mail refers to now being the time.

“For what, you may ask?

“To think about potentially printing with us at O’Neil Printing.

“Why now? Because of the first paragraph of the e-mail.

“Also, we are now offering short-run HP Indigo printing in addition to our 40˝ eight-color and six-color Heidelberg presses, in-house bindery and diecutting services.

“Thanks so much for potentially thinking of us for your next print job.”

As my amigo Harris DeWese loves to say, don’t forget to ask for the job. The best way to score a touchdown is to throw the ball into the end zone.

But you have to love Fred’s personal approach. It’s all about identifying with your customers, who also have sons and daughters, tuition bills, wedding tabs and graduation gifts with four tires on them, etc. That marks him as one of us. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to catwalk the big H-berg and HP iron in the process to justify going with O’Neil Printing.

Nice job, Fred. And if you want to sample some of Fred’s musicianship, visit YouTube.com and type in “fredbuck.”

MAJOR LEAGUE ENTICEMENT: We get a lot of invitations to attend open houses, galas, unveilings, etc., but aren’t always able to attend. It made me cry to not fly out for one held April 5 by Continental Web Press, which celebrated an open house at its Walton, KY, facility.

Continental was set to showcase its innovative heatset web press technology, with tours to tout color management and closed-loop color control systems. But another aspect of the event grabbed my attention.

On the bottom right of the invitation, shaped to resemble an event ticket, sat the Cincinnati Reds logo. My kryptonite. Just ask my children, son Pete and daughter Rose. They can speak to my obsession.

The guest of honor for drinks and hors d’oeurves was slated to be Tom Browning, the retired Reds lefty hurler who authored the only perfect game in franchise history. He also helped lead the Reds to their last World Series win, a sweep of the Oakland A’s in 1990. Cincinnati, incidentally, has won its last nine consecutive World Series games, dating back to Pudge Fisk’s fair ball wave in the classical ’75 Classic that helped Boston force game seven.

What better guest to have than a local baseball hero? And, after all, achieving perfect color control is like throwing a perfect game. . .

—ERIK CAGLE
 

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