I’ve Met the Future of the Print Industry. His Name is Matt.

One of the best things about working in this field is meeting new people. When I produce events or get invited to speak for a group or trade association, it’s something I most look forward to. Listening to other peoples’ stories. Learning what got them into the print business. Uncovering other passions in their lives.

Often, people new to the field will contact me and ask to meet so we can talk. Depending on my schedule and how much I suspect someone just wants to pick my brain for free, I might agree. I’ve learned to dig deeper in these initial calls or e-mails to weed out the latter. Time is precious.

What was it about that certain e-mail last month, from a brand-new sales rep who asked to meet? Maybe it was the sincerity of his words, or the fact that he works for a commercial printer that has my utmost respect (and has also, BTW, supported PBI).

Whatever the reason, I’m glad I said yes. On a warm spring day, I had lunch with a young man who was accompanied by his wife. They were in town for a friend’s wedding. The time spent with them was a delight and a half.

He’d asked to take me to lunch to learn whatever I could teach him, because when he Googled “print buyers,” my name popped up. There was nothing slick or sales-y about him. He was Grade A Genuine and thoroughly excited about his new adventure in what we’ll call the Print Industry.

As our salads and sandwiches came, he and I talked about the big trends in printing and print buying, who his Competition is (big “C” as in not other commercial printers), the importance of learning about all modes of media, and the challenges and opportunities for a young man in printing.

Long regarded as a print buyer expert and trade writer, Margie Dana launched her new business in 2013 as a marketing communications strategist with a specialty in printing and print buying. Now she’s on a mission to help clients build customer communities through carefully crafted content.

You may know Margie as the producer of the annual Print & Media Conference. Although she’s exited the event production business, she’s still publishing her Print Tips newsletter. She looks forward to helping companies create and style all of their content so their potential customers sit up and take notice. For details and to sign up for her Print Tips and new marketing blog, visit www.margiedana.com or e-mail Margie at margie@margiedana.com.
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  • http://Chris Chris

    What a great article. It’s good to see someone seeing potential in newcomers to print (like myself) as the ones who can show the way in print.

    All too often are young people (30 and under) are written off and treated as they have little to offer because of their lack of prior knowledge. Not only this, but those whose background aren’t necessarily in print are equally treated as outsiders and their abilities and potential go unrecognised.

    I’m lucky enough to have been given a chance by a company who produce cleaning equipment for the print industry and have taken an absolute massive interest in print… to the point where I am learning relief print techniques in my own time. While I am not involved in Print Buying, I relate to this article because of the part we play in the ‘Print Industry’ and my subsequent enthusiasm for it and its progression in a production sense.

    The knowledge I’ve acquired (about flexo and digital especially) in over year is completely down to someone taking a chance on a young person with determination and enthusiasm and therefore, without trying to sound big head, I feel I have a bright future in print. Attending shows such as Ipex along with LabelExpo, DScoop and the chance to be at Drupa next year, shows fill me with a huge amount of excitement.

    Margie, thanks for this great article. This is something close to my heart and its great to see a different yet positive approach. The fact you met with Matt is an absolute credit to you and I am sure he is the better for it.

    Thanks again.

  • http://Margie Margie


    Thank YOU. Not just for your kind words, but for being so genuinely interested in this great industry. I have all the faith in young professionals in print “PIPs ??” who jump feet first into training and professional education of every kind.

    I think you’ll find a lot of us willing to help and share what we know. I don’t believe you have had to been born with ink in your veins to make a difference and be a leader in this field.

    If Matt hadn’t inspired me with his personality and philosophy, i would not have written about him.

    Good luck to you and all your young colleagues!!!