The second annual Vision 3 Summit convened in Marco Island, FL, on Sunday, February 19 and ran through Wednesday, February 22. The conference, which addresses the interests and concerns of commercial printers, is produced jointly by NPES, NAPL, and Printing Industries of America. The theme for...
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The day’s program concluded with the “Power of Print Panel Discussion” moderated by Printing Industries of America CEO Michael Makin. The panelists were Benjamin Cooper, executive director of The Print Council; Bob Lindgren, president, Printing Industries Association of Southern California (PIASC); and Kerry C. Stackpole, president of the Printing & Graphics Association MidAtlantic.
The panel members discussed the various marketing materials available to allow printers to get involved in promoting the viability of the print medium. Three campaigns to increase awareness of print’s impact and sustainability are currently available: Print in the Mix, Choose Print, and Print Grows Trees. All have excellent marketing materials available that printers can freely use to promote the power of print. These materials will help you answer the questions: Is print still in the marketing mix? What is the value of print? and Why choose print?
Promoting print and clearing up misconceptions about print and the printing process is our responsibility—and the means of our livelihood—panel members avowed.
Day Two: Pundit’s Perspective
On Tuesday, attendees had to make some choices. Along with the general sessions, there were also three sets of breakout sessions during the day. Morning breakout sessions included “Advocacy Bootcamp”, “Social Media and Print: Just Call It Social Business!”, and “Executive Briefing for Owners”.
The day’s first general session was “Pundit's Perspective: Inside the 2012 Election”, presented by Charlie Cook, editor and publisher of The Cook Political Report. Cook observed that “We’re at an inflection point. There are several ways this election can go.” Then he proceeded to dissect the current electoral process in great detail; supporting his theories with statistics from the last 50 years.
Will President Obama gain re-election? Maybe. Will someone break out of the Republican field and step into a position of leadership? Again, the answer is only maybe. According to Cook, this is the most irregular presidential field in recent history and all the balls are still in the air.
The numbers to watch, he said, are the unemployment rate and the GDP. Unless those numbers gel into something decisively good or bad, November could provide us with a nail-biter. Only one thing is certain: those on the left and the right have already made their decisions—the election will be won in the middle—the ultimate decision will fall to the people who are currently undecided. It’s up to the candidates to sway them.
Next up was NAPL president and CEO Joe Truncale moderating a panel that discussed “Transforming Your Sales Team for Print Profitability”. The panelists were David Pitts, co-owner of Classic Graphics, and Mark Potter, president of Conduit Inc. They described transformation as “a thorough or dramatic change in appearance or behavior”, and discussed what this meant in terms of the skillsets needed by those who sell the new non-print services being offered by print service providers (PSPs). They agreed that PSPs today need to change the way they approach the sale and offer hybrid solutions to their customers if they hope to remain competitive in the current recovery.
Print is NOT Dead
After the day’s networking break, attendees heard a riveting presentation from Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni, Ph.D, director of the Magazine Innovation Center, Meek School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi. Titled “Surviving and Thriving in a Transcended Media Age: Secrets Revealed”, Husni’s message was loud and clear that “Print is not dead.”
While he insisted that we cannot underestimate the value and importance of print, we can no longer simply be content providers. We must be experience makers. We have to accept that we live in a digital age. The question is no longer about ink on paper or pixels on the screen. Media is not either or, it is all.
When it comes to print, we need to ask ourselves: who is not valuing print? Is it the customer or the provider? Everything boils down to the customer, to the human. What is in it for the customer? You are not doing anything that can’t be duplicated—unique does not exist—you have to be different and better.