Welcome to my blogging duel with TEAM UK’s Matthew Parker. If you have been following along you can skip right to the post… and if you are just joining us, here is some background…
Matthew and I haven’t always seen eye to eye when it comes to Print Buying. He comes from the UK procurement world, and I come from the USA agency world. We used to argue about process, but over the years it has turned into a mutual respect. However, that doesn’t mean we now agree, or see things the same way! As a matter of fact, most of the time we don’t. So we decided to turn that into Print Buying: #UKvUSA and share information about our experiences from both sides of the pond!
At the end of my post is a link to Matthew’s post on the same subject. We don’t know each other’s response before writing our own. Maybe we will agree, maybe we wont, maybe we don’t even see the question in the same way – who knows… that’s the fun part! We have also set a 500 words or less format to keep things moving along.
Please do leave comments and if you happen to support one side over the other let us know on either blog! I am proudly representing TEAM USA, and share with #UKvUSA on Twitter. LET THE DUEL COMMENCE!
#UKvUSA: 3 Ways Print Buyers Can Deliver a Happy Holiday Season
Ok, I am not going to panic… but if you are a print buyer your holiday planning should be completed. In case it isn’t, we have some quick catching up to do! Here are three ways to deliver smiles – and dare I say happy clients – over the holidays:
CALL YOUR PRINTER NOW! Get on their radar asap. Let them know you have holiday work coming their way – even if you aren’t sure what it is – so your delivery and drop dates can be met. You may not be mailing holiday cards in December, but everyone else is. Don’t get caught in that traffic jam or make your service providers rush because you didn’t plan. That is when mistakes happen, and the holidays are the worst time to ask for favors because everyone is!
ORGANIZE YOUR TEAM AND CLIENTS! I am always speaking from my ad agency experience, however this should apply to any internal production scheduling – LIE! Give yourself plenty of buffer time for file delivery; you will need all of it and more. Avoid needing approvals from the major players anywhere near a holiday – like from now until after New Year’s. Keep in constant contact with your vendors and if you can help them by bumping your work to allow them to help someone else, be generous… the holidays are about giving, and you can remind your printer the same when you need to bump someone a few days later!
DON’T PANIC! Yeah I know I said up there, but it’s worth mentioning again and giving some more detail. The holidays are a crazy time for marketing, and unexpected things will come up – count on it. The only thing you can do is be prepared for anything, and work closely with your service providers for solutions before promising anything.
My final words of advice for the holidays: “Let me check on that and I’ll get right back to you” is the only thing you should say from now until 2016 regarding the “is this possible?” question. You will get it done because we know there isn’t another option, but during the next few months it takes a village of elves and then some to pull off the holiday miracles.
Next month: Does The Press Matter? — and p.s. SPARKS WILL FLY over this topic!!!
Deborah Corn is the Intergalactic Ambassador to The Printerverse at PrintMediaCentr, a Print Buyerologist™, Integrated Marketer, Industry Speaker and Blogger, Cultivator of the Print Production Professionals Group, the #1 Print Group on LinkedIn, and host of the weekly industry #PrintChat on Twitter. She has more than 25 years experience working in advertising and marketing, and currently works behind the scenes with printers, suppliers and industry organizations helping them to achieve success with their cross media and social media marketing endeavors.