The Best Impressions Are Still Made Face to Face

You…we…can write brilliant news releases, columns, white papers, Tweets, blog posts, sales letters and direct mail campaigns. We might have pedigreed designers creating scorchingly good campaigns (what would the kids today call them—“sick?”). We might print on amazing substrates and use cutting-edge specialty effects.

But despite all of our exquisite, second-generation communications, nothing can match the impression we make—or hope to make—face to face.

Whether it’s for social relationships or business ones, I contend we have our best shot at building rapport when we meet someone in person.

Speaking for myself, here are examples of how chance meetings made a huge difference in my business:

After a gentleman with a British accent asked a speaker a question at one of Printing Industries of Northern California’s annual buyer conferences, I introduced myself to him. Robert McClements is an executive with PrintYorkshire. We chatted for a long while. Within months, he invited me to Leeds to speak at a conference.

As a speaker at the New England Direct Marketing Association’s (NEDMA) annual conference, I mentioned to staff members there that I was looking to hire event management help for our upcoming conference in Chicago. NEDMA’s staff referred me to a volunteer who was working for them that day. Marcia’s been with me ever since—and what a valued colleague she’s turned out to be.

At a print management dinner hosted by PINE, I sat next to a print company CEO whom I’d never met. We became professional friends, and he hired me to coach his new print sales reps and also to do some writing.

MargieAt the Printing Industries Association of San Diego’s print buyers’ conference in San Diego, several people introduced themselves to me. “You must be Margie,” was the common ice-breaker. “You look just like your cartoon.”

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 or e-mail Margie at
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  • marc zazeela

    Great perspective, Margie. While face to face meetings can be challenging when you consider timing, geography, and cost, it is a far better way to make a first, lasting, and best impression.

    After all, can your shining personality be fully realized in an email message, a tweet, or even a telephone call? Probably not.