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Flying with Printing --DeWese

October 2005
Read this entire column and you could score $1,000 or a great Mañana Man golf shirt. Come on now. It's only 1,381 words.

Our industry gets a bad rap.

I know. It depresses some of you who are embarrassed and lie. You tell your friends and family that you're in IRS audit and collections, or in the sludge reclamation business, or you are involved in swamp- land real estate sales. Your mama can handle your brother being sent to the big house for 15 to 20, but would go into cardiac arrest if she knew you work for a printer.

Print buyers take us for granted and trivialize our importance. Wall Street hot shots look down their aquiline Ivy League noses at us.

Mean-spirited bankers make us personally guarantee the loans we need for new equipment and, if we default paying three minutes late, then they can indenture our women (or men) and children.

Shallow soul television personalities laugh at us as they scoop up advertising dollars predicated on some highly suspect rating system.

The Internet intellectuals think we're in the Dark Ages and that we are headed for the Great Obsolescence Junk Heap.

Beat the Printing Drum

I want the rest of you positive and proud print communications salespeople to arm yourselves and become soldiers for print.

I'm talkin' about Minutemen, er, Minutepersons for Print Media.

Let's just compare our great industry, presently hidden under a big bushel basket, to two industries that get a lot of press—petroleum and airlines.

Okay, airlines have had 10 major bankruptcies (Northwest and Delta in September 2005 alone) totaling more than $100 billion in total assets. The print communications industry has had only two major bankruptcies (Master Graphics and Printing Arts America) totaling less than $100 million in total assets (Marvelle, that's million not billion, you dummy). In case you're counting, our bankruptcies are a mere pittance or 0.001 percent of those of the airlines.

What's more, we have never lost a single piece of luggage. We have never lost control of a single 40˝, six-color press and slid off a runway narrowly missing the passenger terminal. There was the time that Marvelle Stump Litho told its customer it lost an important job when Marvelle lost control of the truck in an ice storm and crashed into a fat turpentine pine tree. Well, at least that's Marvelle's story and he's stickin' to it.

So where would you put your money? Airlines or printing, Mr. Big Shot Bankers? Now keep in mind we employ more people than the airlines and our workers have never gone on strike and stranded thousands of travelers in airports.
 

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