Greetings Citizens of the Printerverse and welcome to a New Year!

It is a new year, right? The calendar has changed but, in many ways, it feels like 2020 is still lingering. This annual post has traditionally focused on what is in front of us, but honestly, there is still a lot of uncertainty to be able to see that clearly right now, so I am going to focus on implementing what we can control and getting best prepared for what 2021 holds in store for us… buckle up!

THE MISSION FOR 2021: REFLECT, RELEASE, RECOVER and REBOUND

Reflect. Tis’ the season to examine what worked and what didn’t last year, and address it, now. No more band-aids, spreadsheets to run to operations, passing on jobs because you don’t have the right outside partners, passing on jobs because you are missing a piece of equipment. It’s decision time. If you want to be here in 5 years, this is the moment to gear up, partner up, and offer every service possible for your customers, and the ones you missed out on last year.

Release. ‘Kill all your darlings’ is usually suggested to writers as a strategy to avoid the things they comfortably fall back to tell their tales. It was a piece of advice I received a long time ago, and even though I don’t always follow it I can hear it in my head when I knowingly take the easy way out. 2020 made things difficult without a doubt, but that doesn’t mean that falling back into what is easy will work in 2021. Look at your staff, look at your suppliers, look at your office space, look at your processes, look at your customers, look at your bottom line, and get rid of everything that isn’t 100% needed to move forward in the most effective and efficient way.

Recover. The COVID vaccine and all that surrounds it has a big part to play in how quickly we can get back to gathering safely and get our communities, customers, and businesses fully operational for 2021. Scientists and Doctors in the U.S. have predicted that we have a good chance of reaching that point in the fall, and where you are could be sooner or later. All we can do is pay attention and be prepared to help as many businesses get back to business as we can and start soon. I have written about creating recovery/we’re open packages, I have spoken about it all through 2020. Apply everything you did to help a restaurant or florist with safety graphics to an office building, a mall, a museum, an event space. Think BIG, all the places and activities that have been shut down and dormant waiting to reemerge once crowds can gather safely. Even if it doesn’t happen in 2021 in these spaces, it will in 2022, and you have plenty of time to become an expert on all the signage and safety requirements, to prepare a menu of services and packages to offer, and make new friends now so you are in place and ready when the gathering flood gates open.

REBOUND! In 2012 I created a fun infographic titled Print vs Digital: Who Survives The Zombies. Almost 10 years later and it holds up. Printers are crafty, McGyvery, survivors, and a pandemic though it has been a worthy opponent, isn’t going to hold them down. Just the opposite actually happened, and if you haven’t watched and shared #thankaprinter, please do so and THANK YOU for your service! The video is in English, French, Spanish and drupa also created a version to share with the global print world.

yoda quote on looking back

Yoda said, “When you look back, lose your place on the path, you do.” With all due respect to the Jedi Master, a little reflection is needed right now – but focus on the things you need to move forward with the most chance of success and kill all your darlings for the rest.

PRINT LONG AND PROSPER in 2021!

ps…While I have you… if you didn’t get here from PMC’s monthly News From The Printerverse, please subscribe for topical sales and marketing info and a healthy dose of Printspiration from me and our growing list of industry experts and content contributors.

Podcasts From The Printerverse explore all facets of what is possible in today’s world of cutting-edge communications, and strategies for print business and print marketing success. Find my channel on your favorite podcast player, or click here to listen online.

#ProjectPeacock is BACK in 2021 and I am partnering with the Advertising Production Club of NYC to share all the coolness of print, paper, and marketing technology with the brands and agencies. The events will be virtual and that means they are open to EVERYONE to attend … and exhibit. If you have a press or finishing or substates or software that can help the print customers create amazing print marketing – get in touch, quickly! Project Peacock has met and shared Printspiration with over 2200 attendees so far, and they are USING the tools our partners have shown them. CA CAWWW!

Speaking of partners, if you are looking to expand your horizons please visit our growing list of #ElevatePrint Resources, and if you are part of a Black/Minority/Woman-Owned print or marketing-related business get in touch to be added.

Last, but hopefully not least, PMC is opening up in 2021 to provide content, small business marketing, and social media help. If you need a little assistance, let’s chat.

More posts from Deborah


DeborahCorn-PrintMediaCentrDeborah Corn is the Intergalactic Ambassador to The Printerverse™ at Print Media Centr, a Print Buyerologist™, industry speaker and blogger, host of Podcasts from The Printerverse, the cultivator of Print Production Professionals the #1 print group on LinkedIn, Girl #1 at GirlsWhoPrint, host of #PrintChat every Wednesday at 4 PM ET on Twitter, the founder of International Print Day and the founder of #ProjectPeacock. She is the recipient of several industry honors including the 2016 Girls Who Print Girlie Award and sits on the board of The Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi and is a Member-at-Large for the Advertising Production Club of NYC.

Deborah has 25+ years of experience working in advertising as a Print Producer. She currently provides printspiration and resources to print and marketing professionals through PMC and works behind the scenes with printers, suppliers, and industry organizations helping them create meaningful relationships with customers, and achieve success with their social media and content marketing endeavors.

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