Toshiba, USPS Woes a Call to Arms...So Answer
This past June, Michael Makin—Printing Industries of America's grand poobah—had a heart-to-heart chat with Bill Melo, the marketing head at Toshiba America Business Solutions (TABS). The National No-Print Day, a campaign authored by TABS, was the topic of conversation.
Melo was, undoubtedly, taken aback by the sheer decibels ringing through his ears, courtesy of the printing industry. His intention, and the purpose of the National No-Print Day campaign, was to focus on how the office marketplace could cut down on needless paper waste. The video created for it was cute, seemingly innocuous and wholly unoffensive. It was soon taken down and the campaign scrapped. TABS may revisit the topic down the road, but I doubt it will want to re-open that old wound.
As a custodian for the industry, Makin did an awesome job. But, as is the case with many challenges facing our industry, the guns are always pointed in the wrong direction (oftentimes, at one another). We seem to have the reactive posture down cold, but it's the proactive (gee, how I hate that word) stance that needs a major overhaul.
The problem isn't with this Bill Melo. The real issue is the hundreds and thousands of Bill Melos around the country. It's the mounds of misinformation pulsating through the veins of people with good intentions, but simply terrible solutions, to rectify what is viewed as a problem—in this instance, paper waste.
It's been two months since TABS slunked away with tail between its legs, taking a teaching opportunity with it. And yet, we've learned nothing. At the height of this controversy, many noted printing and paper experts were spewing reasons why this insipid, goofball campaign made absolute zero sense. But who were we telling? Each other, for crying out loud.
Can I get an amen from the choir? Of course you can. Now start preaching to those who need our salvation. Or vice versa.