I’ve Met the Future of the Print Industry. His Name is Matt.
In my 20+ years in this field, I’ve rarely been this impressed with any other newcomer to print. His background is in business. He was clearly bright and motivated to succeed. And he was all sponge; that is, he absorbed every bit of conversation we had and every name I dropped into the discussion, whether it was a person, a book, a Website or an event.
His wife was clearly as excited for him in his new career as he was. He was a quick learner. He typed in notes to himself on his smartphone as we chatted. “He’s always been this way,” she said proudly, “filled with ideas on how to make things happen.”
I believed her.
After our hour-long lunch in a suburban diner, we said our goodbyes and parted ways, having promised to keep in touch.
Back at the office, I knew I’d seen the new face of the print industry. His name is Matt. He’s a tad over 30. He has no background in print, but he has this much going for him (and more):
- He was hired by a company president who saw the potential that I saw.
- He is eager to learn and committed to doing so.
- He is smart enough to be reaching out to people in the field who might be of help to him as he learns the ropes and grows his client base.
- He knows how Gen X and Gen Y people like to do business.
- He loves what he knows about printing already.
- He exudes excitement.
- He’ll travel far out of his way to learn.
- His business background will serve him extremely well.
- He’s a natural networker.
- Whatever the opposite of “sluggish” is, he’s that.
- He doesn’t seem to be a person who’s OK with just being OK in his career. He seems programmed to excel.
Maybe the next generation of print executives won’t have ink in their blood. Maybe they’ll be businesspeople who see print in a whole different way. It’s wonderful to meet someone who brings a new background and new hope to this industry.
Long regarded as a print buyer expert and trade writer, Margie Dana launched a new business as a marketing communications strategist with a specialty in printing and print buying. She is as comfortable working in social media as she is in traditional media, and now she’s on a mission to help clients build customer communities through carefully crafted content. Dana was the producer of the annual Print & Media Conference.
Although she has exited the event business, Dana is still publishing her Print Tips newsletter each week. For more details and to sign up for her newsletter and marketing blog, visit www.margiedana.com