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Founder, Print Buyers International (PBI)

Margie's Buyer Insights

By Margie Dana

About Margie

Margie Dana, a former print buyer, is the founder of Print Buyers International (PBI) and its member-based organization, Boston Print Buyers. These professional organizations cater to print customers worldwide through education, an annual buyers conference, Print Buyer Boot Camps, and networking opportunities.

Margie's perhaps best known for her weekly enewsletter, Margie's Print Tips, which she's published weekly since 1999 in an effort to build bridges in the industry. For years, Margie has been a popular speaker at industry events here and abroad. Her clients include print company executives who rely on her to help steer their marketing campaigns and make their online efforts more customer friendly.


Content Calendar for Print Buyer Touches

It’s one thing to say, “Build your company’s reputation by taking advantage of the numerous media channels available.” It’s another thing to do it. One reason we struggle is because we fail to make a plan.

Developing content and publishing it across different media is easy to do once your plan is in place. You need to create a media calendar, just like every magazine has an editorial calendar. I find that self-imposed, published deadlines work. Once I say I’m going to publish X on a particular date or dates, I get it done.

If I hadn’t created “Margie’s Print Tip of the Week” back in 1999, I guarantee I would have published my column in a hit-or-miss fashion. But because I committed to doing a tip each week, I don’t give myself an out.

So I thought about a Content Calendar for printers, to help them build their online presence in a strategic way. The secret is in the regularity and the content. Have a set schedule and publish it. Commit to creating insightful and interesting content. If you can’t do it, have an employee(s) do it, or hire a pro. There’s nothing more to it.

As a place to start, here’s an outline of a simple “Printer’s Content Calendar.” Include the major social media sites—Twitter and Facebook. Also include LinkedIn, the strongest business networking site. Those three sites should be used daily.

Every printer should have a blog that lives on the company’s website home page. As long as you update it weekly, you’re good. Of course, if you post more often, that’s icing on the cake.

An enewsletter can be sent once a month to customers and prospects who’ve opted in. Use it to share interesting company news—new employees, maybe an award you’ve won—and certainly educational content about new applications you’re producing or solutions to a common problem. It needn’t be long, though. One strong topic that customers all identify with is perfect.

Once a quarter, print and mail a company magazine. This is a chance to feature your best printing techniques. Include relevant industry news, spotlight an employee or a customer project. Make sure much of the content is editorial, as opposed to promotional.

At least once a year, refresh your website. It is the single most important online presence you have, especially for prospects. The first thing we do when we hear about a new company is check out its website. Yours must be current, accurate, free of technical glitches and professional in design.

Beyond this, you should publish news releases as needed, and if you’re comfortable doing mini videos, go for it!

Here’s that calendar-at-a-glance:

  Daily   Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn  
  Weekly   Blog post
  Monthly   eNewsletter
  Quarterly   Magazine (mailed)
  Annually   Update web site
  As needed   News releases
  Bonus points  


Industry Centers:



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