Blurred Vines: Are You Invested in the Future of Print?

Greetings PI readers and citizens of the Printerverse! As 2013 comes to a close, I wanted to take this opportunity first and foremost to say THANKS. I really appreciate you taking the time to read my blog, engage with me through comments and e-mails, and share my posts with your friends and colleagues. Those actions connect us, and there is no better reward in my book!

For my final blog this year, I wanted to speak with you about the Future Of Print. There is war raging my friends, and the enemy is the perception of paper! Green is the new black, and too many green lines are being drawn to conclude that the use of paper is “bad” for the environment.

The “them” to our “us” in this scenario is a corporate machine invested in convincing consumers that paper kills trees. That perception, as ironic as it might be since these same corporations demonizing paper, use tremendous amounts of paper, is financially beneficial to them. Quite simply: less paper + less print + less postage + less human workers = more profits. It is a marketing strategy to focus attention away from their bottom lines, and point it directly to a simple call to action such as Go Green, Go Paperless.

I am in the same choir as you, so I will not be preaching eco-facts to “defend” paper and print. However, I will stand on my soapbox and ask what are YOU doing to defend the future of print?

I am a very proud (and loud!) supporter of Two Sides globally, and a partner member of Two Sides US. Two Sides is a non-profit organization dedicated to changing the environmental misperceptions of paper and print. Working directly and quietly behind the scenes with corporations, they have had significant success helping to craft accurate “green” messaging, having inaccurate messaging removed, and providing all of us facts to share through commissioned studies and research regarding the sustainability of paper and print.

Deborah is the Principal and Intergalactic Ambassador to The Printerverse at PrintMediaCentr which provides topical information and resources to the Print & Integrated Marketing community, with some fun in the mix! She also is the founder of the Print Production Professionals Group on LinkedIN and works behind the scenes with several print organizations and companies helping with their marketing and social media efforts. With more than 24 years of experience in print production, print buying and project management, Corn has worked for some of the largest and most influential ad agencies and has played an integral role in projects that have won ADDY, CA and other advertising award honors.
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  • Norman Glick

    Hello Deborah,

    You write…"The “them” to our “us” in this scenario is a corporate machine invested in convincing consumers that paper kills trees."

    Specifically, what corporate entities are preaching this?

  • Phil Riebel

    Hi all…Firstly thanks to Deborah for the exposure to our organization and our initiatives. Much appreciated. Regarding our campaign to challenge misleading "anti-paper" claims, it is going quite well. To date, over 20 leading US companies (banks, utilities, telecoms and others) have removed their anti-paper green claims and are focusing on the other features of e-billing and e-statements. These companies include the top 50 in the Fortune 500 list, in their respective sectors…so you all know them. The full list and a monthly progress report is available to Two Sides member companies. Moving forward we will be putting more resources and effort into this campaign because it is making a positive difference. It stops misleading messages about print and paper products reaching millions of Americans and it educates the marketing departments of major US corporations about the sustainability of our products.

  • Brian Rothschild

    Good Morning M’Lady Ambassador to the Printerverse. WOW, how profound are you Deb. If I haven’t said this already….

    YOU ROCK GIRL!!!!!! I’M SHOUTING IT FROM ALL PEAKS!!!! (Q: Are they "listening", or merely hearing?).

  • Stuart Leventhal

    The "perception vs. reality" concept is not really understood by the public.

    Recent articles in the New York Times highlighting the deforestation of old growth areas of Peru and Paraguay reinforce that.

    In both these areas deforestation has to be with public corruption / farming needs / employment needs of the populations / etc . .

    Nothing to do with paper or print. The public needs to understand that most pulp for paper comes from well maintained soft wood forests – where planting far supersedes the amount of trees felled.

    And the certification circus does little to change the perception. The flurry of certification logos thrown around in a feel good way really does little to impact the true issues of deforestation globally.