Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Due to the dramatic down turn in the economy over the last couple of years along with the emergence and adoption of electronic medias, like email, mobile, social networking, podcasting and web self-service, the traditional print buyer role, and print industry in general, is undergoing a dramatic metamorphosis. Since there is a growing, vast array of newer communication channels, with no defined roles or job titles associated with deployment, the role of the traditional print buyer has transitioned to include the understanding and deploying of all of the communication channels.

To date (2010) the terminology has yet to catch up with the industry, though the transformation of such terms as "publishing" (from meaning the printing of books & literature to meaning the deployment of communications (i.e. publish to the web), has helped to spark the transformation of a universally accepted terminology that reflects the new communication technologies, processes and the industry, in general. To wit, W2P used to be known solely as Web-to-Print but is now widely accepted to mean Web-to-Publish, as one example.

Graphic arts and print associations, such as Print Buyers International, are in the process of rebranding in an effort to move this transformation forward, to reflect the new generation of roles and responsibilities of the traditional print production specialist or buyer. Similarly, I positioned myself as the "Multi Channel Publishing Manager" at my last company, to reflect the role and responsibilities that my staff was undertaking over the last 3+ years.

Though the "Print Buyer" is assuming these new roles and responsibilities across the U.S., there is a strong likelihood that the "print buyer" terminology may soon become obsolete, once the communications industry adopts more relevant terminology that appropriately reflects the duties of today's Print Buyer!

My suggestion to Print Buyers??? Make sure you have learned the nuances of the emerging channels, just as well as you have mastered the nuances of print, then start branding yourself as a "Multi Channel Publishing" specialist! It's time to align the diverse skills and expertise of today's Print Buyer/Multi Channel Publishing guru, with an appropriately reflective title to help move the transformation along even even further...

No comments:

Post a Comment