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Ways to Fight Economic BS --Morgan

April 2009
AS YOU are probably aware, more than 3.6 million Americans have lost their jobs since the onslaught of the recession, nearly half of those in the last three months alone. In January, the U.S. unemployment rate reached 7.6 percent, which is the highest level since 1992. 

The printing industry is also suffering from the deteriorating economy. In a recent Quick Poll survey by Print Buyers Online.com, 67 percent of our print buying member companies reported they have downsized in the last six months, and are beginning to feel the squeeze. Laura Hardy, vice president and production director at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, recently shared the following with Print Buyers Online.com:

“A hiring freeze, not replacing staff who had left, along with the restriction on using freelancers, have caused the current staff to juggle a tighter workflow. It’s a challenge to meet the ever-changing daily requests. We really push for more organized requests coming in, so that we are not just in ‘reaction’ mode. But it’s tough,” Hardy admits. 

Another print buyer shared, “We have had two company-wide layoffs in the last six months. If the economy doesn’t turn around soon, there will probably be more.” Another contributed, “My company has downsized considerably over the past year, and has reduced its workforce by more than 20 percent. All creative and copywriting is now outsourced, and our print spend has been reallocated to Web/SEO/SEM efforts.”

But how is the recession affecting the print industry as a whole? Just ask any printer. In a recent Quick Poll survey, 90 percent of our print supplier respondents said they had lost a print buyer contact due to downsizing at their customers’ businesses. As you know, print suppliers spend a minimum of six months and up to three years in developing the relationship that turns a prospect into a customer. The repercussions of losing so many contacts not only has an immediate impact on sales, but also will surely impact the printer’s ability to get work from past clients once the economy does recover.

If your company is experiencing layoffs, you are not alone. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 38,000 mass layoff events in the graphic arts industry in January of 2009. Here’s just a random sampling of companies that have reported their struggles in recent press releases:

 

Companies Mentioned:

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