A campaign aiming to highlight the importance of the printed word in everyday life has been launched this month by PrintNZ, with over 100 Kiwi "print champions" so far forking out $200 to confirm their support for the industry association's Part of Life initiative.
The first phase of the $500,000 plus marketing campaign has targeted 2000 print buyers, including those working in advertising, marketing and communications, via direct mail. And the second phase will target consumers via multi-media advertising.
PrintNZ chief executive Joan Grace says the campaign is the most comprehensive initiative yet to be undertaken by the print industry association, which, given falling display advertising revenues and mostly grim circulation figures for newspapers and magazines in recent years, hasn't had a particularly good time of it.
Things may be looking up slightly for print, however: a recent bidding war for a US newspaper shows it's not all bad news for print and while US figures still show ad revenue and readership are still dropping, NBR columnist David Cohen says "the fall-off is now happening at a slower pace". Added to that, magazines consistently rank top with consumers as being a trustworthy and inspirational medium and recent US research shows they’re number one for influencing consumers to start a search online.
“Our aim is to provide positive information about print and the role print plays in everybody’s life and therefore, why it should be an essential part of any successful marketing campaign,” Grace says. “The messages extend to the often tricky area of environmental impact, where it has been vital to source information and highlight the significant improvements made by the New Zealand print industry in reducing its environmental impact.”
The Part of Life campaign came about as a result of research into consumers’ and print buyers’ perceptions of print, which found consumers enjoy the quality, portability, tangibility and freedom of print and particularly love relaxing with a good book, newspaper or magazine. Consumers also have concerns about the environmental implications of using and disposing of printed material.
Print buyers are aware of the technological advances taking place in the industry and the on-going work to reduce environmental impact (Spicers paper has been running a 'Love Paper' campaign since July last year that extols the sustainable virtues of paper), so the aim of the campaign is to emphasise the fact that it should be part of every marketing campaign.
The Print Champion monicker is available to anyone who works with or uses print, with the $200 sign up fee used as part of the marketing campaign.