The board of directors of Printing Industries of America (PIA) recently allocated a quarter of a million dollars to support a variety of activities which will continue to spread the word of why print still has value. While to many of us that is significant money – in the land of mass media, it’s peanuts. It’s a 30 second commercial during a national football game; it’s a series of weekend ads in a local market. It’s chump change.
Yet, the question remains – is it worth doing? Many take the position that for the industry to try to stop/change the perception of print being antiquated is not achievable, while others feel that something has to be done – if for any reason just to make us feel good. Well, PIA has taken on the role of making us feel good – and more.
Over the next 6-12 months, an upgraded website will be developed focusing on best practices, along with continued support of “Print In The Mix,” “Print Grows Trees,” and “ChoosePrint.org.” Regardless, of ones feelings to the value of this type of campaign, it can not be ignored that information can influence. If every print producing company in the U.S. can influence 3 – 5 buyers, the needle will move in the right direction, but it has to start at the grassroots level. If we don’t influence those local buyers, tell the fat lady to start warming up (thanks Dandy Don!).
Print in all its forms is still the most prevalent way of communicating. The web; smart phones; signage; and tablets (in all their forms) are all vehicles for distributing the written (visual) word. If one was to think about it, print is more powerful than ever – it’s just the way it is delivered that has everyone disturbed.
Think of all the new careers which have been created because print is no longer in the realm of craftsman using archaic ways to reproduce the printed word. Today anyone can be an author, publisher and printer. No longer do we just listen to the opinions of a handful of individuals who control the newspaper publishing industry. Anyone with a blog site has the power. The genie has been released from its bottle.
Here’s one more point which provides additional food for thought. Per Gartner, a leading IT research agency, there will be approximately 64 million tablets in use by the end of the year. That number goes to over 900 million by 2016!
Yet, if one is to consider the opportunities which abound for entrepreneurs who can think beyond ink on paper, there are fortunes to be made. Or at least a good living for the next few decades.
I’m somewhat surprised in regards to the reaction of the Penn State students in the firing of legendary football coach Joe Paterno yesterday. I don’t remember that kind of reaction when Dave Bliss got fired from Baylor. And I wonder what would happen if Republican candidate Herman Cain threw in the towel over the alleged sexual harassment charges. Could you see middle-aged Republicans harkening back to their “freak” days and burning flags and occupying college president’s offices? Nah, it ain’t going to happen. So why the reaction for Jo Pa?
I could delve into the myopic fascination we have for cultural heroes, but I don’t think that’s the path I’m going to take. What really fascinates me is the blind eye people take towards individuals who “perform.” How many times have we (and “we” are all guilty) ignored behavior from an individual which was not appropriate? It could have been a plant supervisor verbally abusing an employee. A sales rep who padded expense reports or was willing to “take care” of his/her customer regardless of the appropriateness of the request. And I don’t even want to delve into the area of physical/sexual abuse of children and women — and how we decide to look the other way because the abuser may be someone “important.” Which gets us back to JoPa.
If in fact everything we’ve heard about the assistant coach and the graduate student’s reporting to Paterno is true, what would have you done? Would you have ignored the situation because you “needed” that person? Would you have reprimanded the individual? Would you have thrown a “friend” under the bus? Would you have reported it to the police?
At what point in time do we begin to realize that our community/work environment is best served when we are in harmony, and achieving the desired result at any cost also costs us our humanity. It’s not an easy path, and it may be one that Joe Paterno decided not to take – and he will now lose the recognition that he spent 60 years building.
AHCA, a.k.a. Obamacare is front in center with the Republican presidential candidates. ”I will repeal Obamacare. I’ll grant a waiver on Day One to get that started,” says Romney. Governor Perry says, “I will use an executive order to get rid of as much of Obamacare as I can on Day One.” And not to be outdone, candidate Cain, states, “Obamacare must be replaced because it is a disaster.” So, what’s really going to happen? Continue reading