Printers' Self-Promotion Contest -- Getting the Word Out
We are the best at what we do, and we want everyone to know it. Go ahead, say it a few times. Feels good, doesn't it? Isn't that the image you want your customers to have about your company?
You want clients to feel that you are the best option for their printing needs—you have the newest, most advanced equipment, the know-how and the dedication to provide a quality product.
So why don't you do more self-promotion?
What industry has better resources than commercial printing to actively and successfully market its services? You have all the tools and creative services right at your fingertips—or at least under the same roof. But, for some reason, commercial printers historically are sheepish when it comes to marketing their services. The Printing Impressions annual Printers' Self-promotion Contest, now in its 15th year, recognizes the marketing efforts of commercial printers.
Printers should be out there tooting their own horns, especially in these trying economic times. This contest celebrates printers that actively promote their services to current and potential customers with creative and high-quality marketing materials. Here are some of the best we saw this year, in no particular order. Winners were also presented with a handsome plaque to honor their creative accomplishments.
Out of This World
Mercury Print Productions,
With a name like Mercury Print Productions, the perfect opportunity to play off its moniker was just sitting there for the taking. So using a planetary theme, the company produced a unique spiral-bound book to show how Mercury is different in the world of printing.
"Mercury Print Productions has been taking aggressive steps to reach beyond the local marketplace of Rochester, NY, into the national arena," reveals Steve Adolf, sales manager. "To help with that effort we needed to display some of our unique capabilities and fine craftsmanship."
One has to look no farther than the front cover to find unique work. The cover was embossed to give a raised, planetary texture. It was also diecut for a window that holds Mercury Rocks—reminiscent of Moon Rocks that were made popular by 1960's moon landings. The cover was then wrapped around foamcore.
The inside text, while keeping with the galaxian theme, gives information about the company and its services. Other far-out features include a small booklet containing chapter one of the H.G. Wells classic War of the Worlds, and a special pop-up rocketship that blasts off the page.
Mark of Success
Baton Rouge, LA
Starting out with a 40-page brochure dubbed "Making Your Mark," Moran Printing has blossomed this theme into an entire marketing campaign of the same name. The brochure highlights various "marks" made by mankind, from Voodoo marks to the Great Wall of China.
In addition to the brochure, several two-page inserts were created, featuring brief biographical sketches of unusual people who have left their marks on humanity—such as Edgar Allen Poe, P.T. Barnum and Annie Oakley. The inserts were placed in local business tabloids and used as marketing collateral pieces, delivered to prospects or customers. Created in a similar style, Moran mailed Charles Dickens-themed Christmas cards to its customers.
"The campaign has proven to be extremely successful," declares George Choquette, director of marketing. "Because of the attractive and interesting nature of the pieces, their shelf life has proven to be much longer than expected." The "Making Your Mark" theme has already moved to the Moran company Website, and more promotional pieces, like desk calendars, are being planned.
The brochure, inserts and Christmas card were produced on a six-color, 26˝ Komori sheetfed press with in-line aqueous coating. Page-by-page production notes are also printed in the brochure.
Print Looking Fine
L.P. Thebault Co.,
Many companies use brochures and printed samples as a marketing tool. But L.P. Thebault's submission stood out due to its high-quality printing and invitation to "take a closer look at some of the finer things in life—through the art of fine printing."
Peppered with scenes of Americana, the Thebault brochure is accompanied by a loupe to help clients read production notes printed on each page. Along with the strong home-town imagery, the text is equally inspiring—with quotes from notable names such as William Shakespeare and Henri Frederic Amiel. The quotes are then summarized to tie into benefits Thebault can provide its clientele.
Beth Letchford, marketing assistant for L.P. Thebault, reports that 6,000 books were produced, using both six- and eight-color Heidelberg sheetfed presses. It was printed on 100-lb. Potlatch McCoy Gloss stock.
"This promotional piece was produced to showcase how our $28 million reinvestment in equipment and technology expanded our product offerings," Letchford explains. "In effect, (it allowed) us to extend these exciting capabilities to our clients."
Right on the Map
A basic brochure may not be able to direct your customers in the right direction. Knowing this, Paravista Inc. designed a promotional piece that will steer customers right to their northern New Jersey headquarters. Using a road map theme, Paravista produced a promotional package to show it is more than a traditional printer.
"Along with standard commercial lithography, Paravista produces folding cartons and other dimensional pieces for collateral advertising," says James Connell, vice president of marketing. "This package was designed to create market awareness and illustrate Paravista's ability to produce the finest quality graphics on heavier board stocks."
On the top of the box, you can see the map of New Jersey through diecut arrows, while being asked, "Does your printer require too much direction?" Upon opening the top, printed over the map, is the answer: "Work with Paravista once, and you will never look back." Open the box once more and you find a small booklet with information about the company (including a business reply card for more information), a full-sized road map of New Jersey and a card with driving directions to the Paravista plant.
Production specs are printed on the bottom of the box. The piece was printed on a six-color, 28x40˝ Heidelberg Speedmaster CD 102-6 press with aqueous coater and extended delivery. The impressive finishing work was performed on a 52˝ Lawson MPU programmable paper cutter, a 32-page MBO B-26 folder and a Muller Martini Minuteman stitcher.
One Smart Project
Simply said, Berman Printing knows a little something about self-promotion. For the third straight year, the company has been honored by PI for its innovative marketing ideas—this year for its Brain Box Packaging Promotion.
"The Brain Box Packaging Promotion was created to bring in business for our new high-speed Jagenberg folder/gluer," recounts Debbie Johnson, marketing manager. "The objective was to demonstrate the versatility of our high-end packaging and illustrate some of the packaging we've done for heavy-hitters."
The "right brain, left brain" theme of the packaging promotion is used throughout, with words like orderly, efficient and realistic printed on the left brain side and wacky, funky and creative printed on the right brain area. On the inside cover it explains the benefits of three-dimensional packaging while pointing out the in-house capabilities Berman Printing possesses.
To go along with the visuals and text, the piece features right brain and left brain notepads, along with a Berman Printing pen and pencil. A business reply card rounds out the promotion, offering more information on Berman's 3D packaging capabilities.
Days of Remembrance
Crestec Los Angeles,
Some promotional marketing tools are fun, light hearted or just downright silly. But the annual desk calendar Crestec's sales staff gave away for 2001 had a special theme—honoring Louis A. Gualeni, the company's late vice president of manufacturing.
"It is dedicated to the memory of our past vice president," notes Ed Wise, vice president of operations. "We felt it would be fitting, as Lou was always customer focused. This was our way of sharing Lou and his memory with Crestec's customers."
Wise reports that the entire project was produced in-house. The film was output on a Screen MTR 1120 imagesetter using Fuji brand film at 175 line screen. Printing was performed on a six-color, 28˝ Komori Lithrone sheetfed press.
The cover page of the calendar features various photos of Lou with his family, parachuting from an airplane and, fitting the theme of the piece, eating. Lou's wife Donna provided Crestec with some of his favorite recipes, which are highlighted each month—the first being "Mary Calenda's Minestrone Soup," a recipe from Lou's grandmother dating back about 100 years.
Tropical in Maryland
Back at its startup in 1983, Victor Graphics selected the pineapple as its company logo. Since then, recalls Thomas H. Hicks, company president, all of Victor's promotional activity has become centered on and identified with this symbol of hospitality. Now, direct mail pieces, essentially gifts, are sent to prospects and customers—all with the pineapple theme.
"All are related to a particular benefit—faster schedules, competitive prices, assured quality, etc.," Hicks explains. "These items end up in customers' offices, cubicals, halls and homes." These promotional pieces range could be just about anything—from a pineapple piggy bank to pineapple pot holders.
Beyond the give-aways, Victor Graphics publishes a newsletter, The Pineapple Review, which highlights employee news, equipment announcements and other information pertaining to the company.
But one of the most popular tie-ins was the creation of Captain Pine-apple, a superhero who appears at trade shows, hosts company functions and sends 8x10˝ photos to customers, vendors, prospects and competitors. He stands beside Victor Graphics' 22-foot rooftop pineapple, a well-known landmark for travelers along Interstate 95.
Pushing New Media
Advance Business Graphics,
Mira Loma, CA
As the printing industry goes through a transitional period, moving from offering traditionally printed jobs to new media products, so too do the materials used in marketing the new capabilities. One company that offers non-traditional commercial printing services, Advance Business Graphics, has produced a multimedia marketing kit that matches its multimedia offerings.
"Our brochure was designed to describe our capabilities beyond listing products and equipment to showcase the value of integrated applications," notes Craig Clark, marketing director. "In addition to the printed brochure, we created a demonstration CD-ROM to highlight one application, abg AdvanceNet, our six-year-old, Web-based inventory management ordering interface."
The right-hand pages of the brochure highlight Advance Business Graphics' services, such as its document management system, fulfillment program, direct mail solutions, outsourced billing and statement services, and print management offerings. Photo samples are also displayed.
The piece is also designed with visions that match the left-page text, which explain the virtues of the company. The interactive demonstration CD is affixed to the inside front cover, across from the company's mission statement.
Golden Big Apple
Seybert Nicholas Printing Group,
New York City
To grab the attention of picky New York City print buyers, marketing materials must showcase a printer's best work. Seybert Nicholas put its best foot forward with the production of its latest brochure.
The classic look of the cover was printed as two hits of metallic gold, with four-color and off-line black over the printed type and with spot gloss varnish. It was also diecut, scored and multi-level embossed with one glue pocket, including half moon business card slits.
Produced using a complete digital workflow and printed on a six-color Heidelberg Speedmaster CD press with aqueous tower coater, the inside of the brochure is also impressive. The text gives prospective clients some history about the company, as well as service and technology information. Inside the back cover are equipment lists covering its pre-media, pressroom and postpress operations. The imagery gives the brochure a New York feel.
"The brochure was created, printed and distributed to enhance our brand, complement our ads and position ourselves as a trusted partner providing quality, value and service to the New York marketplace," points out Bill Martin, corporate vice president of marketing and business development.