Mon, Sep

The environment is back on the agenda. It would be great to feel it never fell off – but hands on hearts, how many PSPs have over the last few years dismissed it as a box ticking exercise they could do without. According to the findings of our annual Widthwise survey, plenty have thought just that. But retailers, via increasingly robust CSR programmes, are strengthening their environmental supply chains, largely at the behest of the public.

As you read this I’ll be on my way to The Printing Charity’s 189th annual luncheon in London. The organisation - and the funds it distributes - could do with a higher profile so that those in need know they have somewhere to turn. Can you help spread the word within your business? Details can be found at: www.theprintingcharity.org.uk

I don’t usually flag up offers on my enewsletters, but I thought this was worth an exception. The organiser of Digital Print Europe has said that given it's Halloween - and its own MD’s birthday! -  it is running a special one-day discount for the event. There’s 100 Euro off the fee for the Digital Printing Conference, or 200 Euro off the total if you register for the conference and a supporting event. You need the special code to register online: HALLOWEENDPE16

What do you think of what Saxoprint is doing – and could something similar benefit wide-format PSPs? In case you don’t know, the online printer has launched a portal called ProStudio, a free network that connects small and mid-sized businesses with professional graphic designers. Of course, an increasing number of large-format print companies are adding their own design services, but for those without a design capability, yet seeing the value of extending the creative possibilities of large-format print…?

If you’ve completed any unusual large-format print jobs with a Halloween theme I’d be interested in seeing pics and getting a bit of info on the project for possible inclusion in the Image Reports gallery of work. Many thanks in anticipation… 

So, it’s International Print Day on Wednesday (19 October), and Deborah Corn, principal at Print Media Centr and the driving force behind the day, hopes not just PSPs but “but also designers, marketers and entrepreneurs will connect throughout the day, sharing samples and stories of great print - plus ideas, suggestions and opportunities to collaborate.” Will be great to see what comes of the initiative. You can find out more info at www.internationalprintday.org

So, in my last enewsletter I asked for strong female PSP chiefs to come forward and let themselves be known. The response … a deathly silence! Now there’s hiding your light under a bushel, and there being no light to hide. I’ve seen glimpses of brilliance so I know the industry doesn’t suffer from the latter, but can I see more? Please drop me a line if you are – or know of – a good female print chief in this sector.

It’s Women in Print week in New Zealand – a little known fact that got me wondering about the dearth of women at managerial level in the UK’s large-format print sector. Or, perhaps I’m mistaken and I’ve just not met many. Where are you…let me know!

Do you welcome new recruits that have nose piercings and tattoos? Maybe you should if you want to get your hands on the new generation of leadership talent. A Ritz-Carlton chief has been telling Dscoop how hard is was for this very conservative company, with its legacy of strict dress standards and working hours etc. to remain current and relevant, but that understanding millennials helped them attract and retain these important future leaders.

What are you willing to do to attract the best talent? I ask because a new report from Santander shows that only 8% of 15-16 year olds consider apprenticeships a viable alternative to university - largely due to salary expectations. Those opting for university expect to earn £113,000 a year, compared to £46,000 for those undertaking an apprenticeship.

The latest BAPC newsletter highlights a problem that’s worth passing on. The government has issued an update to its guidance on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact following telephone scams. Those scams highlighted by the HMRC are as follows:

Printers risk losing business by playing generic music to customers put on hold by their telephone system according to audio branding specialist PHMG. OK, so such a company would say that, but that doesn’t mean there’s no substance to the claim. Perhaps it’s time to think about using that ‘dead’ time to better branding effect. Just saying …

Our annual Widthwise Surveys over the years have highlighted the fact that environmental issues have been on and off PSPs agendas like ….. Those those of you with retail clients at least, will know the environment is very much back in focus, and the SDEA used Stylo’s stand at the 100% Design show to hammer home the point – introducing a new ‘green tool’ that it believes will “bring more business to its members by being a cost effective method for suppliers to evaluate the key contributors to sustainability”. Time to put the environment back top of your agenda?

Are you reading this on a mobile device at 100% Design? Or perhaps you’re just catching your breath from a trip to Decorex International earlier in the week. If either of those apply please let me know – I’d very much like to talk to you in relation to our Think Bigger campaign – an initiative to get large-format print possibilities in front of a wider creative audience.

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