Class Is Now in Session —DeWese

WELCOME TO the campus of Mañana University.

I am your dean and also one of your professors.

You are here to earn your “PhD” in the sale of print communications and related services. When you have completed the course successfully, everyone will call you Doctor.

Your unworthy sleazy competitors will have to bow down and call you Madam, Sir, or your Ladyship or your Lordship.

Your best friends, your customers, will call you to pick up the orders. Your other best friends, at the IRS, will call you with thanks for sending the big tax check.

This a first-ever educational institution located within the pages of a magazine. It is innovative. It is creative. It is educational. And it is hard work.

I explained the rationale for founding Mañana University in the March edition of Printing Impressions. I’m not going to waste space restating those reasons. If you must know, go back and re-read my March column.

The number of firms comprising the print communications industry has been shrinking since the late 1980s. As companies disappear, so do sales positions. In 1989, there were approximately 53,000 printing companies of all shapes and sizes, serving many very different markets. Twenty years later, there are approximately 30,000 establishments still remaining.

Successful Behavior

If we assume that each company employed an average of two salespeople, then the army of sales professionals has shrunk from about 100,000 to 60,000 individuals. And 60,000 is probably too high a figure. I also wonder what those other 40,000 people are doing now.

So, our potential student body enrollment is 60,000, but I know better. Maybe 6,000 salespeople will actually show up for class, and they will be among those still working by the time the number of printing establishments drops to 20,000.

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