Print Council's image-building campaign evangelizes print

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The Print Council this weekend during Graph Expo 2206 in Chicago will launch the first step in a marketing strategy designed to bolster the image of print as a communications tool.

The showpiece, a 24-page brochure titled, "Why Print? The Top Ten Ways Print Helps You Prosper," includes information on how print can drive a higher ROI, is a personal method of communication and has credibility.

"In the general public, you're constantly confronted with comments about the death of print, print being an anachronistic industry," said Ben Cooper, executive director of the Print Council. "There is also concern some people in advertising who are younger may not fully embrace print and understand its value."

In fact, the industry is "doing reasonably well," Mr. Cooper said, and will pass the $170 billion mark this year.

However, it is experiencing slower growth, consolidation and dramatic change. So the tools the Print Council, Washington, DC, is developing are also intended to help the industry face this period of transition.

The Print Council is a print advocacy group founded three years ago.

Members include Agfa, Allegra Network, Cenveo, EFI, Franchise Services, Heidelberg, IBM, International Paper, Japs-Olson, Kodak Graphic Communications, Komori, MAN Roland, Mitsubishi Lithographic Presses, NewPage, Quad/Graphics, Sandy Alexander, Sappi Fine Paper, Sheridan Group, Sun Chemical, U.S. Postal Service, Williamson Printing and Xerox.

The Why Print brochure is targeted at media decision makers. It was designed to enable them to talk more effectively about the efficacy of print.

The next step in the Print Council's marketing strategy is to create a marketing information clearinghouse to provide verifiable research on the value of print. This may be accessible online by yearend.

While the brochure is intended to get people's attention, the clearinghouse will be a tool the industry can use to market print more effectively.

Also, the Print Council will initiate its own research intended to enable media decision makers to know what kind of results to expect from a print campaign.

"We do not in the printing industry have what we regard as good data available on print effectiveness," Mr. Cooper said.

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