Why Should We Keep Print Alive?
I’ve been following a group on Twitter called #helpprintthrive. It’s a discussion about how the printing industry can, well, thrive.
I’ve spent the last 20+ years in the printing industry...and I’m as much for keeping the industry viable as the next person, but I’m starting to have second thoughts.
In discussions I’ve had with many people in the industry, I haven’t really heard many good reasons why the industry deserves my support. “You have to support print—just because it’s print.” That's not good enough for me. And I don’t think it’s good enough for most people.
Every morning, I go outside and pick up my newspaper only to have 10 circulars fall out on the ground, or these days, in the snow. These are generic ads trying to get me to buy something I have no interest in buying or even looking at. And today’s insert took the cake...an empty paper grocery bag with just a logo on it. I’m about ready to cancel my print subscription and just read the online version.
The sad thing is, I’m a customer of most of these advertisers and they know what I buy— but obviously they just don't care. “Don't push ‘everything under the sun’ at me just because you are too lazy or inconsiderate to care about my time and attention...and the garbage cans I’m filling up.”
And I’m going to add printers to this rant too. The print industry can’t expect its clients to know all the great one-to-one customization options available—options that focus on effective communication, not print spam. It’s the industry’s job to educate, not just be an order taker. And to printers that don’t offer these options...get with the program.
In fact, I believe a good portion of the blame lies with the print industry. It seems like too many of the reasons to “Keep print alive.” come out of tradition.