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EDITOR'S notebook

October 2003
News Fit for Printing

Extra! Extra! Read all about it. The graphic arts industry is launching a new campaign to promote the use of print as a replacement for, and complement to, other media. I know, grizzled industry veterans might point out, other efforts have been tried

in the past—typically losing steam over time. But this effort has some of the biggest industry guns behind it as founding members, including vendors such as Agfa, EFI, Heidelberg, IBM, MAN Roland, Scitex Digital and Xerox, as well as prominent printers like Mail-Well, RR Donnelley, Quad/Graphics, Sandy Alexander and Franchise Services (the parent company of PIP Printing, Sir Speedy and MultiCopy).

The Print Council was officially launched at a press conference during Graph Expo 2003 in Chicago. Speakers included Paul Reilly, chairman of Mail-Well; Catherine Monson, president of PIP Printing; and Roy Grossman, president of Sandy Alexander. Managed by Jeff Hayzlett, of Hayzlett & Associates, the council's goal is to influence and promote the greater use of print media through education, awareness, market development, advocacy and research. In addition, it will work closely with industry associations, ongoing initiatives and relevant user groups that share common goals.

"This is not a consumer campaign; it's a business-to-business effort," Hayzlett is quick to point out. It will be targeted specifically at media specifiers such as content creators, graphic designers, artists, advertising agencies, sales and marketing people, as well senior corporate executives like CEOs, CFOs and CTOs.

"We want to create a bigger piece of the pie for the printing industry. . .to help change the mood and preference for print over all other media. Our goal is to have millions of dollars (in resources to support the effort), whether it's in-kind and pro bono services or monetary donations," he says. The awareness effort will include promotional brochures, posters, fact sheets and direct mail. Also in the offing are special events, editorials, media interviews, advocacy research and keynote speeches at conventions attended by the various targeted audiences. Hayzlett notes that a grassroots, "Main Street" kit is being developed, as well, for use by printing companies to promote print within their local communities.

This effort is not intended to replace existing, commendable industry recruiting initiatives such as the Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation (GAERF) with its PrintED national accreditation program and "Make Your Mark" industry image and recruiting campaign; or the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation (PGSF). Nor is it meant to overshadow the "Print: The Original Information Technology" campaign that was launched by the Printing Industries of America (PIA), which is also one of the founding members of The Print Council.

"Since the advent of print, alternative communication vehicles have come along trying to usurp what we do," noted Sandy Alexander's Grossman at The Print Council unveiling press conference. "Radio couldn't kill print. TV couldn't kill print. In the early '80s, the PC didn't kill print and, most recently, the Internet hasn't killed print." He also related comments made last year by Laurence Kirshbaum, chairman of the book division at AOL Time Warner, in announcing the consolidation/termination of AOL Time Warner's digital book operations due to lackluster consumer demand and high costs. "Perhaps Mr. Gutenberg has had the last laugh here," Kirshbaum said.

Needless to say, The Print Council is an industry effort that we all should wholeheartedly support—no matter how big or small your company is. I'm also proud that Printing Impressions and its allied sister publications have signed on as industry partners.

More information on the council is available by calling (703) 519-8100 or on the Web at I'm sure that Mr. Gutenberg is smiling fondly in support of this new business development alliance being launched to drive the greater use of print.

Mark T. Michelson


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