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Printing – 5th Generation 32 GB

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” I had a really good summer, my internship went amazing and they even said they would hire me on once I finish school this year! I was able to increase their Facebook page “likes” from 100 to 250 in one summer and they were amazed at how well I did!” I over heard the young student sitting next to me on the airplane enthustiastically telling her friend sitting in the window seat next to her as I flipped the physical piece of paper to get to the next page in the book I was reading, “Inferno” by Dan Brown.

 

My ears were a little more open now as I tried to mask my eavesdropping on their conversation by continuing to flip through the pages of the book, although my eyes no longer saw the words printed within. Their conversation went on about their internships, how much they missed each other, and most of all how they should keep in touch more with one another on Facebook. My mind began to drift, and I got lost in thought no longer paying attention to their conversation, but instead thinking about the current landscape and future of printing as well as publishing/print buying.

 

Undoubtedly, the landscape has changed since 2008 when the economy took the biggest hit since The Great Depression. In addition, the print market was under the pressure of increasing paper prices, increasing postage costs and postal regulations, and new technologies like digital magazines, Ipods, and Ipads (and other e-readers) were introduced to the market. People began to scream at the top of their lungs “death to the printer” and a massive panic swept through the market. Words like “integrated marketing provider” and “communications provider” were now commonly used among printers to describe themselves eager to hide the word “print” from their company name and services they offer. 

Fast forward to 2013, some printers have consolidated, some have gone out of business, and some have continued to grow. Sure, we have seen the most changes and adversity since film became a thing of the past and all pre press work flow went to CTP (I was still in high school when that happened). The publisher that went out of print and completely digital is now out of business, because like so many other publishers, they haven’t figured out how to effectively sell advertising into their digital magazine nor produce the conversion results their advertisers are looking for. The business with the catalog that stopped printing and instead threw up a PDF of the catalog onto their website now is scratching their head as to why their sales have dipped so much even though they were able to eliminate print and mailing costs. They begin to realize why, and rush back to print much like the way I run towards my children and wife eagerly awaiting me at the airport terminal after a business trip.

We are in a new genre of printers, publishers, and print buyers, what I call the 5th generation 32 GB. The printer has become the 32 GB needing as much storage as possible to provide all the multi faceted channels to distribute their client’s message via digital magazines, app creation, PURL’s, print and much more. As well, we are in a new generation of Print Buyers, what I call the 5th Generation. Most Print Buyers are not “print specific” for their organizations, but instead purchase a multitude of products and have become younger as well as prefer to communicate over email rather than on a phone call. The 5th Generation and the 32 GB correlate with one another, need one another, and become successful together. Ink, Paper, Distribution, Mailing, Digital Reproduction – They are all stored within my 32 GB, and the young or older buyer has access to every single piece of education, opportunity, and consultation. Service, Consulting, Honesty, and Creative Ideas, are what I promise you, the goal always being to have your organization tell YOU “You did an awesome job on that project, here’s a bigger project, I have the TRUST in you to knock this out of the park too!” It’s not about the ink on paper, Closed Loop Color Control systems are common place on presses which eliminate printing errors for the most part. Becoming “green friendly” is common place amongst printers with most being FSC, Soy Ink, and or Rain Forest Alliance certified as well as offering a wide variety of paper choices with recycled content such as JB Kenehan does. (not trying to down play the importance of consisten print quality or being environmentally friendly here). So what’s it all about? Knowing you will not have to babysit your provider, knowing your provider has provided the most cost efficient ideas, knowing they are going to meet your deadlines, and above all else having TRUST in your sales rep to provide you the 32 GB of education to allow you to shine like the brightest star. TRUST. SERVICE.

 

With so much change and adapting in the past 4-5 years, the coming year(s) are looking like that of being in the eye of the tornado, calm, but will the tornado return back to the heavens or will we need to enter the other side clutching one another to get through another storm? 

 

I un-buckled the seat belt as we now had landed and pulled into the terminal. As I stood up, I reached down and grabbed my brief case under the seat in front of me, opened it and pulled out a magazine. I turned to the young college student who was still sitting in her seat, and handed her the magazine ” Here, if they hire you on full time or if you have an internship with another organization place an ad in print. You will increase the “likes” on their Facebook page 10 fold, and you will look like the rock star you so deserve to be, TRUST me.”

 

September 8, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Time to Realize Value

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“You can hate me, choose not to work with me anymore, that’s ok, but I have to say this guys” my Father In Law, Jeff Zuelke (whom we call PJ which stands for Papa Jeff), said as he took on a more serious look than his normal natural easy-going and fun ways.

I shot a quick look at my wife, then at my four-year old son, concern grew through me as I knew he had something very important to say.

“I need you to start seeing the value in these homes I am showing you. I am taking on a completely different message from my prior stance of, be comfortable with your decision” he paused  “to see value in your decision,” PJ said now waiting for our reaction.

At first I was a bit taken back, why would that statement make me angry? Why would that make me want to fire my father in law as our real estate agent? It didn’t, but I wasn’t sure what he was getting at so I filled the air with “Well PJ, I know we lost on three homes now, but I don’t think I would have been comfortable going any higher than we did,” he stopped me right there after those words escaped my lips.

“Noah, if I could show you how to take a dollar and make it into a $1.30 or even $1.50 within five years, wouldn’t that be of VALUE to you?” I nodded my head to agree “Then Noah, the three homes we lost on, there was value to them. You made a decision based on being comfortable, and we lost. The value is, that those homes would have had a significant return on your investment in the very short-term, even if they were a bit more than what you were comfortable with.”

Before you all start shaking your head and saying “yeah right, what housing market is this guy in?” keep in mind the majority of the homes we have been looking at are short sales and very good deals to be had!

PJ was right, I was still kicking myself over the last bid war we lost on, but I was caught up in nickle and diming and feeling like I got the best price possible that I completely failed to realize that even at full purchase price the house was still a great deal because it had value…..unfortunately someone else was able to see that, and we lost out on the house.

This entire time PJ was waiting for me to come to this resolve myself, but when he saw that I was getting too caught up in “best price possible” and not seeing turning a dollar into a $1.30, he knew he had to say something.

That very moment, as we walked out of the house we were viewing, I came to a stark realization, I was a hypocrite! I have been through so many bid processes for catalogs, brochures, and especially magazines as of late only to have lost it by a very slim amount (sometimes more, sometimes less) that I don’t understand it as I am confident I have shown the Publisher or Print Purchaser how working with us will change a dollar into a $1.30.

I understand it now, sometimes we all get polarized by the day to day events of our lives, the economy we live in, or just trying to get the best deal possible and nickle and diming everything they can.

Friends, I come to you today to repeat a message my Father In Law, Jeff Zuelke, said to me this very night……” I am taking on a very different tone with you, you can hate me, choose not to work with me, that is fine, but it needs to be said. It is time to start making decisions because they hold value, not because you are comfortable or because they are the cheapest deal.”

In the end, when you find a printer that shows you value, you will be very comfortable. Consulting on digital, print, and advertising vehicles, not leaving once the sale is made, establishing relationships, friends, is their value you to that? If so, don’t be like me and realize it before it is too late!

March 2, 2012 Posted by | Books, Catalogs, Digital Magazine, Mailing, Printing, Publishing, Relationships, Sales, Social Media, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Social Media Through The Eyes of a Child

 “Dad, when are you going to be done with the computer? I want to go on Youtube!” my 9-year-old daughter said with annoyance in her voice. “Yeah dad, get off the computah, I want YouTube and watch Goosebumps, hurry up” my soon to be 4 year old chimes in right behind his big sister.

This literally happens every day in my household, several times a day. I never thought I would be competing with my kids for computer time, because when I was a kid I was playing with GI Joes and Monster Trucks. Oh, how times have changed!

“Guys, you like YouTube?” and both of them shook their heads while jumping in the air as if the Packers just won the Super Bowl all over again.

“What is it that you like so much about YouTube?” They looked at me as if they couldn’t comprehend the question, as if it was “the world’s dumbest” question ever asked!

“Well duh dad” my 9-year-old daughter began, ” I can watch i-carly clips, Lemonade Mouth music videos” ….”Don’t forget Goosebumps, I like that” my son with hand raised was squealing through his wide smile.

“Well guys, what if I told you I was on YouTube?” They both looked at me as if to say “Yeah right dad, you’re not that cool!” It’s a sad day when your kids stop believing your cool 🙂 ! So I pulled up a video I had made on YouTube, and hit play.

Their faces said it all, my son screamed “you’re a star” and my daughter asked “How did you do that? I want to be on YouTube!” The astonishment they both were feeling made me feel happy, because I once again became cool!

But there is more to learn here than “How to get your kids to still think you are cool!” So I took it a step further, and asked my son and daughter, “What if I told you I was in a magazine?”

I was half thinking they wouldn’t care, but they both again told me to “prove it” with the same excitement. I pulled out a magazine that used some of my quotes and had given me credit for them, and showed the two miniature YouTube experts that were standing in my office. They couldn’t believe it, and were just as excited.

The next day I came home from work, on the fridge hung the magazine article I was mentioned in cut out, and pasted to an orange paper background that had hearts all over it. When I walked into the living room I could hear my own voice, but I wasn’t speaking. So I walked into the office, and there were the two of them watching me on YouTube.

Sure my kids were proud of me, but that isn’t the lesson I am looking to point out here. What I am saying is the more things change, the more things stay the same.

Change is inevitable, I never would have thought kids would be so caught up in things such as social media. I recently read a blog that stated 72% of internet users are on social media, I can’t believe it isn’t more than that!

However, because there is change, doesn’t mean that things from our past aren’t as relevant as they ever were before. Maybe even more relevant? Studies have shown print still offers the highest credibility to your message and ad.

Take it from my two YouTube experts, seeing their dad on YouTube was pretty cool and “in the now” trendy, but being in the magazine solidified that I was still their cool dad!

May 25, 2011 Posted by | Digital Magazine, Publishing, Relationships, Social Media | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Who’s in your black box?

Recently I rolled out a new marketing program, and when I received what I had ordered, I had a stunning and embarrassing realization, what I had ordered were too big to fit into the packages we had! If you can’t send them, then what’s the point of having them!

Feeling like Gomer, I sped across the street to Wal-Mart, they had to have the best pricing on the packaging I needed, after all, they are the biggest retailer in the world and their commercials always say, “We’re rolling back prices!” I found the packaging, bought the entire shelf of it without even looking at the price (because they are Wal-Mart, pricing had to be the best), paid, and ran back to the office to start stuffing packages.

Later on that same week, I began running out of the packaging, and needed to purchase more. Just as I was pushing myself out of my chair to run to Wal-Mart, I realized something that made me sit instantly back down. I had a lunch meeting the week prior with a friend of mine, Tim Horton, also a local business owner of Discount Office Items(http://www.discountofficeitems.com/). His words came roaring back into my memory :

“Noah, do you know why people choose to purchase their goods at the largest retailers?” asked Tim.

“Well duh Tim! Because they have the best prices, the smaller retailers just can’t compete” I quickly responded without giving it a second thought.

Tim sat there, a grin began to make its way across his face and as he shook his head he said, “No Noah, it’s because they tell you they have the best prices. It’s the perception that they have built.” and now, these words echoed through me. So I jumped on Tim’s website, found the exact same packaging, saved a significant amount, and even better it was delivered to my doorstep the very next day.

They got into my black box, and I didn’t even know it! What is the “black box”? This is where we as humans make decisions, and is the role of marketers to infiltrate it without us even knowing it to influence our purchasing decisions.

It got me to thinking, do people do this in the publishing and printing industry too?, have their black boxes been infiltrated? I began to evaluate the many phone conversations I have had with publishers and purchasers of print. “Well you can’t co-mail in-house, you are too small for me” said one person. Another said “I print with one of the largest printers in the world, there is no way you can beat their costs.” “You couldn’t possibly match the turn around times I am receiving” yet another proclaimed.

I can tell you today two of the people who made the above statements are now clients. Sure we can’t co-mail in-house, but we do offer co-mail through the worlds largest co- mailer, and how do you know how much savings your printer that co-mails in-house is passing on to you? I am sure your printer has very aggressive rates, why else would you have chosen them? But what can I do to consult with you to help reduce costs even further? I am sure you are receiving great turn around times. But how flexible are they when you might miss a deadline? Will you get bumped? Or will they work with you? Being a medium-sized printer, we are going to work with you and be as flexible as you need us to be!

Just because a company “says so” isn’t good enough, it takes a proactive approach with the willingness to listen to ideas that may be of major benefit to you. Big or small, there is no right or wrong answer, but writing someone off without even giving them a chance makes you wonder, has your black box has been infiltrated , have you been influenced without knowing it?

May 7, 2011 Posted by | Printing, Publishing, Relationships, Sales, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free, Fast and….WHAT!?!?

You take your family out to eat, to a nice restaurant, and the food was so amazing, you don’t even care how much the bill is, and you add a $10 tip on to it! You get home, look at the bill, and start to think, what can I do to eliminate paying for my food, but still enjoy that great taste!

Quickly, you jump on the internet and find out you can order the food to be delivered to your home. They have a 15 minute guanrantee, and best yet…..it is FREE! You don’t have to pay one single dime, no tip, as long as they deliver the food to you, it is 100% free.

What if the world was like this? People would probably stop dining out and start ordering in in a heart beat!

I am here to tell you the world is like this, at least in the publishing industry it is! (OK, now stop shaking your head no, rolling your eyes, and read on Yoda)

How many of you are printing a publication, have a cover price of $4.95 for newsstand and $25.95 for subscriptions (The room raises their hands). Now, how many of you are producing a digital magazine and giving it away for free? (Faces turn red, but hands remained raised!) Why are you doing this? Is this not playing into commoditizing yourself?

Think back to my restaurant scenario. Are they selling food, or are they selling a place to sit?….Of course they are in business to sell food (that’s their content)!

“Well Noah, digital is about 10-20% of the costs for a printed product, so we can afford to give it away online for free.” I’m sorry, I didn’t know you were selling print (I thought I was), I thought you were selling content? After all, isn’t that what publishing is about, content?

With the many free digital magazines, but with costs to have a printed magazine, leaves me pondering, what is driving consumers to digital? Is it the convenience and “now” factor of it? Or is it that the consumer has simply become savy enough to know how to get your content for free?

Publishers, never forget what it is that you makes your business successful, sought after, and recognizeable ….it is not the delivery vehichle of the content, it is the content itself. This is what makes you, you!

No, this is not a blog against digital magazines, in fact I support them! I think they are a great way to supplement your printed magazine, and help you increase your market share. I do think, if you are charging for your printed magazine, then it would only make sense to charge for your digital magazine. Many digital magazines have subscriber options, with teaser options that allow the reader to see the first few pages, and if they want to see more then they have to subscribe.

This blog is for you Mr/Mrs. Content Provider, because when I see you starting to forget what makes you valuable, it is my duty to tell you that it isn’t how you deliver the content, its that great taste, feeling, education, you give me from your content itself!

Don’t ever forget that.

April 28, 2011 Posted by | Digital Magazine, Publishing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Flipping For Flipbooks!

What’s going on with flipbook frenzy!?! I LOVE it! Whomever was the first person to do this, please accept my high five, and give yourself a pat on the back!

First, what do I mean by a flipbook? The magazine you love and can’t wait to for it to show up in your mailbox finally arrives! You begin reading it, get through about half, then all of a sudden the pages become upside down….or flipped! You look up, and see you are still standing on your feet, and think to yourself ” What an error the printer made!” You quickly call up the Publisher’s office, “Hello, I got my magazine, but at page 96 all the pages are upside down, can you send me a new one? What’s that you say? Flip the magazine over?” You slam the phone down before you can tell them your name, now feeling your cheeks getting quite rosey from feeling a bit embarrassed. You see there are two magazines in one. One side, which you thought was the front cover, was the normal magazine you were used to, when you flip it over and see the back side, it too has a front cover featuring the night life of your city. Now your cheeks are getting rosey again…..not because of embarrassment, because of all the nightlife scenes you realize you haven’t taken advantage of yet!

I don’t know if the official term is a flipbook, but thats what we call it over at JB Kenehan. If you want to see a sample of one, contact me and I’ll send you one no strings attached.

Here are some ideas of how you can take advantage of a flipbook:

  • If your city regional magazine, and typically cover the lifestyle of your city in your publication, now you can expand to cover the night scene, restaurant scene, gardening scene etc…
  • If you are a musical publication, and typically cover one genre of music, now you can expand to other genres, or musical styles.
  • If you are an association publication, you can still cover information pertinent to your association, but on the flip side, cover members and what they are up to.

The ideas are endless for you! Here are some of the benefits of a flipbook:

  • Increase your readership! With new content you will expand into new markets that may not have found your publication before.
  • Increase your advertising! With new content, you will be able to show advertisers why they should advertise in your publication. This opens up a whole new market of advertisers to attack!
  • Increased page counts! New content, new advertisers, means a thicker publication!
  • Low Costs! You had been thinking about starting up a new magazine to supplement your publication, but were afraid of the additional costs. Now there is no additional Make Ready costs, no additional mailing, and don’t need to worry about making a page count for it to make sense economically for you!
  • Diversity! Allows you the opportunity to diversify your publication and keep it cutting edge and new….which will keep the readers and advertisers coming back!

These are only some of the many advantage of a flipbook. Worried about creating one? Don’t worry! Just create the publication like you typically would, we at JB Kenehan will “flip” it for you at the page number you tell us.

It’s simple, beneficial, and will increase the diversity of your market, which will only lead to your long term success!

So start flipping today and join the flipbook nation!

 Here is a short video with an example of a flipbook for your viewing…Enjoy! : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNnIbqWZ3eY

April 17, 2011 Posted by | Books, Catalogs, flipbook, Paper, Printing, Publishing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Throw a QR Code on it!

Recently, I have had the privilege of participating in some great discussions on LinkedIn about how people, and organizations are utilizing QR codes to enhance their brand and message. I was surprised to see all the new, creative, and unique ways that QR codes are being used. Below is a list of most of those ideas, I hope it gives you some inspiration!

  • Real Estate signs- This is one I am seeing more of. I walk my dog quite a bit, and scan the QR codes on the signs all the time…this is genius! By linking the QR code to the listing, you are immediately allowing the buyer to make a decision if they want to see the house or not.
  • Business Cards- Input your information into the QR code so that it saves right to the potential client’s Outlook when they scan it. OR, link it to a short Youtube video that introduces yourself to them.
  • Catalogs- To me this is kind of a no brainer. With studies showing that a printed catalog doubles your sales, think about what the convenience of a QR code would do to increase your sales even more! Link it to your website, where they can easily order the products they want, whether they are on the go or just don’t want to jump on the computer…it would be an avenue worth exploring!
  • Publications- Offer this to your advertisers, anything you can do to help increase their sales and website traffic will only build more loyalty!
  • Devices- In one group, a gentleman said that a company that makes prosthetic devices was putting QR codes with them, linking them to a manual of how to utilize the device. Now that’s a great idea!
  • Packaging- I see them on food products everywhere now, most of the time linking to a URL….but what about a text message showing the health benefits of your product! That’s information I want to know, make it easy for me to find though!  I don’t want to have to search for it on the package!
  • Direct Mail- I am running a direct mail campaign right now that is based around a QR code which is linked to a short “skit” on Youtube. The idea, make it more than another “piece of mail” and give it a face.
  • Products- Link it to your Youtube commercial. If its a bow, show me a hunting video of the bow I am about to buy being used to shoot a 10 point buck….get me excited to purchase your product!
  • Restaurants- Try putting one on a menu, or your placemats.  If you do delivery link the QR code to your phone number.  That way I don’t have to keep searching through my junk drawer for an old menu that has your number on it!  If it’s a dine in have a welcome you tube video from the chef.

QR codes can be used in a variety of promotial, informative, and fun ways. Even better, they are easy to use, easy to get, and allow for a simple way to track your efforts. I don’t see how you could lose!

I told my wife today that I am going to find a way to put a QR code on my dogs name tag. If he were to get lost, someone could just scan the code and a text message would pop up of where to return him. I love my dog that much, I hope you love your business that much!

For great groups to join on LinkedIn where people come to share insight, ideas, and actually discuss topics (and played a vital role in ideas for this blog) check these groups out:

Sales Playbook!

Association Media & Publishing

Chicago Publishing Network

March 26, 2011 Posted by | Publishing, QR Codes, Social Media | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

What NYC Taught me about Social Media!

Back from my first trip to New York City…..WOW….what an experience!

 Here’s the thing. I grew up in a town of less than 2,000 people, live in a town with less than  5,000 people, and work in a town with less than 15,000 people. You get the picture, so there was some pretty big culture shock as I swam through the sea of people on 38th and 8th Street feeling like I was about to pass out from the rollercoaster cab ride just a few short moments ago.

“How am I going to find this coffee shop where I am supposed to meet him?” I began to worry. There it was, on the corner, just like he said. I ran in, happy to be off the street as I was feeling like a salmon swimming against the current. “Great, no place to sit! But no one has food on their plates, why don’t they leave?” the thought screamed through my mind. I stood there in the middle of the coffee shop for about ten to fifteen minutes, with my luggage, observing this “foreign culture”.

People were chatting away, oblivious to their surroundings, but as the observer in the middle of the room, it seemed to be the most beautiful choir I have ever heard. I have never been in one place with so many people, never heard so many conversations going on all at once, and never felt so small. Suddenly, I felt connected to all of them, and I began to enjoy being the observer. To my right were two young adults, one with a laptop, showing the other what looked to be a business proposal. To my left, were three co-workers laughing the afternoon away…..and the rows of people went on like this.

Finally, a seat opened up. I ran as fast as I could before someone else could claim it. I was quite excited to join the choir of white noise and looked up to see my client approaching my table.

Social media is a lot like this, isn’t it? There are conversations taking place 24 hours a day,
7 days a week, with hundreds of millions of people each chatting away making the most
beautiful choir we have ever heard. Where does that leave us as the advertisers, publishers, and corporations looking to join that choir? Standing in the middle of the room, with our luggage, looking for a table?

So how do we find that seat? Don’t be scared! Believe me, I was quite scared when I was
walking to my destination in the city, seeing so many people all at once, and feeling so small. That all went away when I realized we are part of something bigger. Don’t be scared to join in – add to the choir that is us.

How does your voice become heard over the other beautiful voices, or what others may call white noise? I believe it is consistency, keep showing up every day, and provide information/content that people want to read. If I went to that same coffee shop every day, I would know every single person who worked there, and then I would get to know who the other regulars are. From there, your branches can only sprout more leaves.

So NYC, at first you tried to scare me away with that insanely near-death experience with the cab ride, then making me feel so small like I didn’t exist, but in the end I see you were only teaching me a lesson. If you don’t join the choir, you have no voice at all. It’s ok to feel overwhelmed, we all do, but what isn’t ok is to not participate in the choir of the 21st century!

March 12, 2011 Posted by | Publishing, Social Media | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It benefits you, and if it benefits you, it benefits me to know about it.

I am known within my company as the “technology” kid for two reasons: first, my age compared to almost all of my cohorts – I could be their kid – and second, I get so excited about new technology, people begin to wonder how I could possibly be a print representative.

I was in a meeting earlier this week, we hit it off, and then I laid it on him and asked, “What are you doing to bring the web into your publication and bring your publication to the web?” He looked at me the way a dog looks at you – confused, kind of cockeyed. His blank canvas of a look was easy to read, “This guy couldn’t possibly be in printing if he is asking me this!”

After about 30 seconds of stillness, he said, “Well, I have a digital magazine.” As I nodded, he continued politely, “But it’s a free one. I know printers offer digital magazines, but I really am not interested in paying for one.” I immediately thought to myself, are printers only synonymous with digital magazines? I prodded a little more about his digital magazine. Did he see it as a way to engage his readers or a way to increase profits from his advertisers by being able to offer rich media and the like, or hopefully both? The conversation went on for a few more minutes about digital magazine capabilities and what he liked and didn’t like, etc. I asked again, “What else are you doing?” And again that look came over him, but this time I didn’t wait for silence to fill the air. “How about QR codes, Augmented Reality, PURL’s? How are you using social media like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to interact with people?”

He immediately said, “Are you sure you’re in printing? How does any of that benefit you?” I smiled and said, “It doesn’t, but it benefits you, and if it benefits you, then it benefits me to know about it.” Through further discussion, I found out that he creates videos for his website, and we spoke about how he could easily incorporate Augmented Reality and QR Codes with the skills he already possessed. And how he might be able to offer it to his advertisers for additional profits and create more market share for his publication. We also talked about his social media strategy, and I shared my point of view. When I left the meeting, he looked at me and said, “You really seem to be up on your stuff!” We shook hands and agreed to talk soon.

On my drive back to the office – it was a long, three hour drive back – I thought of a conversation I had a couple of weeks ago with my old boss. He is the reason I am in printing, the person who hired me without any background in printing, but knew I was a bill collector at one time and had no fears about picking up the phone and establishing relationships. He is now president of a major publisher/marketing communications provider.

At first, it was a conversation about how life was, but then I quickly realized what a great opportunity to get some insight that not many other print reps have into the publishing market. We spoke about iPad apps, and I learned they had just begun to create some apps for their magazines. I asked him, “What are you looking to do? Are you trying to go all digital or just supplement the printed magazine?”

He gave me the best answer anyone could ever give, and changed my view on everything when he responded, “Noah, I am not trying to dictate anything. I am giving the readers and advertisers what they want. Where they go, I go. If this is what they want, then this is what we will do. If it is all print, then so be it; if it is all digital, then so be it; but ultimately the market will decide.”

Now, driving back from this meeting, I fully understood what he meant. Why should a printer only educate, sell, and consult about print when there are so many integrated communications available to publishers? Why should a publisher limit themselves when the market is demanding all of these channels to be open to them? The answer is, they shouldn’t, and as a young guy in printing, I am confessing I am in love with print AND technology! We all should be, and we all should look at ways we can gain the most market share available to us.

Times are changing, print is still relevant, but even more there are now additional channels to use to create the most effective brand possible.

“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” – Helen Keller

March 3, 2011 Posted by | Digital Magazine, Publishing, Social Media | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tabs….are you sick of being attacked yet??

Ok, I am going to let a skeleton out of the closet this morning,…. I have a special place in my heart for tabloid sized publications! So much so, that I tried to start up a group on LinkedIn dedicated to tab sized publishers.

Before I get started, to those of you scratching your head and asking yourself “What’s a tabloid sized publication?” or, “Aren’t tabloids those magazines that spread gossip?” Come on man! Let’s start a new name for the publications that are dedicated to the gossip of the celebrity life to something like “grocery aisle” or you fill in the blank, ANYTHING but tabloids. Tabloid sized publications are those publications that are over the trim size of 9x 10 7/8. They are the ones that are usually in the back of the shelves at book stores and news stands because they are too big to put anywhere else (attack #1). Tabs aren’t extinct yet, but face many more issues than the rest of the publishing industry.

The droop test imposed by the USPS forced many tab sized publishers to increase the weight of their paper stock or add on a heavy cover so that they will pass the droop test (attack #2). By increasing the weight of their paper stocks, they have to pay more in mailing costs due to the heavier weight, however this is still probably less than what the penalties would have been if they failed the droop test (attack #3). By increasing their paper weight, their costs in paper went up (attack #4) and mind you this entire year we have seen nothing but increases in cost from the paper mills. Finally, co-pal pools are irregular at best, and offer 10% of the savings that co-mail does (attack #5).

With all that being said, it is no wonder why so many tabloid sized publishers are scrambling to go down in size in effort to reduce their costs in paper and mailing, because of this the tab market has been greatly reduced. But today tabs, I am going to be your Tony Robbins, I am here to tell you that you are beautiful, unique, and I am here to help support you in the hurdles you jump over every day!  

So here are some tips for you and words of encouragement:

  • The majority of tabs still print on uncoated paper stocks, which I actually dig! But here is a tip to increase the quality of your publication and attract more advertisers, heatset the 4-color, and if you dont have 4-color….add it in! Going from K-only to 4-color isn’t a big increase in costs at all. Furthermore, by seeking out a heatset printer over a coldset printer gives you higher quality imagery that I am confident your advertisers and readers will enjoy alike.
  • If you are saying “Noah, you say you have love for the tabs, show me how to reduce some costs will ya!?” then this one is for you. Try out the trim size of 10.5×12. What’s so special about this trim size? At this trim size, instead of printing in 8 and 16 page forms, we can actually print in 12 and 24 page forms….meaning more pages printed at once = reduction in costs on press. I am not done yet, when your at this trim size, quarter fold it, tab it shut, and now you qualify for letter rates which are a much discounted mailing rate given by the USPS. You will save quite a bit of money in mailing costs. One thing to note is that you do need to be within the allowed thickness limits of what the USPS allows to qualify as a letter (your printer can tell you).
  • Speak to your printer about taking advantage of drop shipping into heavy concentrated mailing areas to reduce costs and decrease delivery times.
  • Lastly, speak to your news stand distributor to find out where you are being placed in book stores and the like. Visibility is the key, and you don’t want to be in the back of everyone else. Maybe you can negotiate being placed at the foot of the newsstand, or something that will offer you more visibility to the consumers.

Tabs, whether you are on coated or uncoated paper, I got love for ya and want to see you survive. You offer unique advertising opportunities and a unique reading experience. I love that regardless what the world is throwing at you, you are throwing it right back at them!

There is just something about those big beautiful tabs that keeps catching my eye…….

October 9, 2010 Posted by | Publishing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments