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The Soap Box

Key Industry Challenges

Brendan Perring listens to print’s most influential trade associations and bodies as they consider key industry challenges and the steps print companies can take to secure a successful future

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Marian Stefani of the IPIA says the company’s next EPIP conference will be “bigger and better than ever”

Taking part and returning to print

Maybe things are getting better
Marian Stefani,
chief executive officer,

We are gearing up for our EPIP conference and I think this one will be bigger and better than ever.

One reason I am so positive about this one is the feeling that many marketeers are genuinely turning back to print, and the recent bad publicity about data security at Facebook and the new GDPR restrictions on digital communications can only be good for our industry.

Maybe, just maybe, the tide is turning and we will begin to see brands thinking more carefully about their marketing integration rather than print being an afterthought.

I was encouraged to see that one major restaurant chain decided to close their social accounts and only make offers in print. I know that this is not yet an earth shattering swing back to print as the media of choice for all and we must not take it that we can sit back and think everyone will automatically fall out of love with email and social communications—but it is encouraging.

GDPR will, I hope, give us the advantage in prospecting communications and we should all start to think about it as an opportunity, not just an annoying piece of legislation.

We all have to play our part to educate customers and encourage them to buy in a more considered way—thinking about what they are trying to achieve rather than cost. If every print company in the UK produced one job for a client that they would not normally think to do, something that had an amazing outcome, just think how things might change.

If a company has real ambition, they must anticipate expansion and be prepared

EPIP is our answer to this—a conference and associated activity that connects with brands and end buyers of print and we are doing all we can to make sure our members have the support they need to wow their customers and promote print.

Go forth and multiply
Sidney Bobb,

Business growth was a hot topic of conversation at a recent gathering of some BAPC members. The general consensus was that, in the absence of a large inheritance or winning the lottery, growth comes through a first-rate business model coupled with great leadership and a motivated team, plus, of course, a worthwhile product, or service.

Those leading the team have to be inspirational and if they lack natural talent they should do something to acquire it. That might be attending courses, reading books, finding a mentor. In other words, using every tool they can in order to be in a position to lead with confidence, flair, and understanding. In addition to self-development, leaders have to ensure that those with whom they work have the opportunity to further their skills, not just on an operational basis, but as part of their personal progression.

The company has to look good and, for a start, a business needs an attractive website. One of the advantages of having an effective website is that it can compete with the largest of businesses. In addition to being appealing the site must be well written, it is usually worthwhile to engage a professional copywriter.

Getting involved in industry activities certainly helps. Those who take an active part are made more aware as to what is going on, how contemporaries are dealing with issues, and creating a profile within the sector. It is always advantageous to be known and it may be wise to make use of a PR agency experienced in the sector. Similarly, it is good for business if the company involves itself in local activities where they can again create presence.

If a company has real ambition, they must anticipate expansion and be prepared. This means that general plans should be put in place, including the need for additional staff, investing in products and equipment together with setting up proper systems and procedures to ensure quality control, not just on the end product but in the way the business deals with customers.

If a company has real ambition, they must anticipate expansion and be prepared

The points addressed in this article did not come from “clever” management books, or from specialists. They all emanated from BAPC members sitting round a table and having a drink or two (perhaps even three or four!).

Celebrating print’s exceptional stars 
Charles Jarrold,
chief executive officer,

At the BPIF we are keen to celebrate exceptional employees in print who want to further their career in our industry but need the funding to do so. It supports one of our key aims, which is to upskill the industry by providing relevant training to help business owners develop their employees. That is why we work with partners to offer various awards and bursaries.

At the BPIF we are keen to celebrate exceptional employees in print who want to further their career in our industry but need the funding to do so

The Kathy Woodward Award for Learning was launched in 2015 in memory of the BPIF?s much-loved chief executive officer Kathy Woodward, who sadly passed away in 2014. The £1,000 award, which is sponsored by Webmart, supports individuals in the print, packaging, and graphic design industries to further their careers. The closing date for applications is June 8th 2018.

As well as being appealing, your website must be well written and it is usually worthwhile to engage a professional copywriter

The Victor Watson Award is now in its third year, and was launched in memory of Victor Watson CBE DL, to recognise a ‘young person of outstanding achievement’. It is open to any young person under the age of 31, employed in the printing industry. The closing date for applications is also June 8th 2018.

In addition, for individuals specifically looking to undertake the BPIF MSc in Management, there is a £6,000 bursary available thanks to The Stationers? Foundation, funded by The Printing Charity. The closing date for applications is May 24th 2018.

So, with application deadlines looming do you know anyone who deserves recognition in the industry or could benefit from funding for training? All application details are at www.britishprint.com.

Public Notice:

  • We have to encourage customers to buy in a more considered way
  • Leaders should there are personal progression opportunities for staff
  • The BPIF aims to upskill the industry with relevant training
  • The closing date for The Victor Watson Award is June 8th 2018

To find out more about the issues discussed in this article please contact the relevant organisation via their website: www.bapc.co.uk, www.britishprint.com, www.ipia.org.uk

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