Another valuable drupa commandment - come prepared

Last days of drupa… Already? It seems as if the days have just flown by.

Over the last days, we picked up a few more commandments here and there to hold high for the next drupa and other events.

1. Come prepared - ah yes, we’re all connected via our laptop, mobile, iPhone and iPad, but these things work on batteries. Did you know these wear out? So make sure to bring cables and indicate on each cable if it is yours and what it is for. We can’t tell you how many cables we’ve already replaced over the years.

2. KISS - well yes, you can give 2, 3 or even 4 kisses to people you’ve known for some time at drupa. But that’s not what we meant. Cable-wise - Keep It Simple and Stupid. Got to love Apple for that. One wire to charge and share all. Please avoid spaghetti effect as illustrated below as much as possible!

3. Find your Zen spot. We don’t mind if you bring along pictures of the homefront or Hugsy your teddy bear, but find a zen spot or mental image you can carry with you throughout the show. Although we do recommend to leave Hugsy in the safety comfort zone of the hotel… But nonetheless, drupa can be overwhelming for both visitors and exhibitors. A rough night at the Altstadt, a mass overload in the halls or a bad sales review during the day. drupa happens. If you feel a bit overwhelmed at times, go outside, take a breather and block it out all for just a minute.

More to come later as we take the final drupa gear. Onwards and upwards!

How to win awards - labelling

Tony White, Chairman of Judges at FINAT, has 17 years’ experience of judging print competitions around the world. In this guest blog he reveals how to avoid the common pitfalls and submit an impressive award entry.

Time to get serious with label competitions

Winning an award feels fantastic. There’s nothing like experts in your industry confirming you’re doing a great job. It boosts morale, does wonders for your company’s profile and can have a big impact on sales.

So it’s a mystery why many businesses don’t invest sufficient time in submitting a compelling entry.

In my experience of judging dozens of label print competitions around the world, the same mistakes crop up time and again.

And one of the most common mistakes is an entry which doesn’t follow the rules or meet the criteria. Make sure you read the entry requirements at least twice before putting pen to paper. And when your entry is finished, check it thoroughly to make sure you haven’t forgotten or misinterpreted anything.

Next up, be clear about which category you want to enter. Ticking two or more options on the entry form and leaving the judges to decide is a big no-no. It’s your product – you pick the most appropriate category.

Now for the technical part of the form, where you must prove your label is worthy of walking away with the prize. Make sure you include a sample of your best work and go over the label carefully, looking for any flaws (the judges certainly will). You’ll be assessed on the technical processes adopted, the quality of the finish, and the appropriateness of the label’s design for end use.

One area to pay particular attention to is the register. More than half of entries are rejected for poor register – you have been warned!

Finally, most competitions invite you to include additional information. This is a chance to add weight to your entry and sway the judges. You’d be amazed by how many companies ignore this opportunity – make sure you’re not one of them.

Want to get serious about scooping an industry gong? Then read the full article How to win a label print competition. It reveals in detail how to avoid the common pitfalls and submit an impressive entry.

For the official duomedia pr press release, please click here.

day 6 - Top Six Social Media Mistakes

6. Being too commercial

Don’t use social media to sell. Not blatantly, anyway. Running automated programmes to push promotions really jars people. If you take the human element out of it and bug people with promotions, you’re left with anti-social media. And who wants to subscribe to that?

Don’t forget, subtlety goes a long way with social media. People can smell the Hard Sell a mile off. Don’t hit someone over the head with some clumsy marketing message. If you’re basically saying ‘Buy from us, we’re the best!’, people will turn their backs double-quick time.  

Give people more credit. Something like, ‘A big thank you to everyone who voted for us in the Big Deal Awards – we landed the Best Newcomer gong’, lets people know you’re doing something right. And who knows, when purchasing time rolls round they might just go for that award-winning, up-and-coming brand they heard about.


day 5 - Top Six Social Media Mistakes

5. Faking it

Imagine you’re at a trade show. Business is slow. Real slow. And to make matters worse, Competitor Inc’s stand is buzzing. So you send a Tweet saying that you’re doing a roaring trade, ‘Get here quick – before we sell out!’.

Big mistake.

Supposing a prospect at Competitor Inc’s stand reads the Tweet. ‘That’s funny’, they think. ‘Their stand was dead when I walked past.’ And sure enough, when they look over they don’t see a bustling booth – just you looking desperate.  So the prospect Tweets that you’re pulling a fast one. And his followers re-Tweet his Tweet. And before you know it your credibility is on the floor. Tweeting hell!

Whatever social media you use, and whatever you use it for, don’t lie! There’s a good chance you’ll get rumbled, and people will waste no time in giving you both barrels.

Remember, once you post something online and people pick up on it, things can move really quickly. So keep your nose clean and stay out of trouble!


day 4 - Top Six Social Media Mistakes

4. No board-level support

There are still plenty of social media refuseniks out there. If your senior management team doesn’t understand the value of social media, make them understand. Your campaign will suffer without their buy-in.

Even among advocates of social media, there may be conflicting opinions about what to use it for. So play peacemaker and talk with these people. Iron out any wrinkles and agree on a strategy. 



day 3 - Top Six Social Media Mistakes

3. No KPIs

So you know what you’re using social media for, and who’s taking charge of it. Next up, how are you going to track the impact of your social media campaign?

Get yourself some key performance indicators (KPIs). Agree what the outcome of a successful campaign would be. A 10% rise in sales? Five hundred more ‘Likes’ on Facebook? A room full of prospects at an open house event?

If you know what success ‘looks like’, you can gauge progress and tweak the campaign on the fly (or ditch it and start over if results are way off the mark).


day 2 - Top Six Social Media Mistakes

2. No-one in charge

Social media is lightening fast. In a few minutes you can go from no social media presence at all, to having a digital chinwag with someone on the other side of the world. Amazing! 

Whoa, slow down! Social media shouldn’t be out there all on its own, doing its own thing.  It has to be integrated with other marketing channels, so the messages you’re putting out are consistent.

You have to put someone in charge of social media (usually someone in marketing or comms) and make sure everything goes through them. 

People chipping in with inconsistent or conflicting posts will do you no favours. There has to be quality control – even flashy new communication platforms need an old-fashioned approval process.


day 1 - Top Six Social Media Mistakes

Ready to take the plunge into social media? Fantastic. Just don’t make these six mistakes. Follow us every day this week for a new mistake to avoid.

1. Jumping in before you’re ready

You’ve been thinking about this whole social media thing for a while. Everyone’s talking about it, so it must be quite important. But there’s other stuff – more important stuff – you have to deal with first. So social media goes on the back burner. Then one of your competitors starts blogging. And Tweeting. And sticks up a Facebook page. The cheek of it – you was going to do that! 

So you make a beeline for marketing and ask them to set up a blog. Or does the IT guy do that – he normally handles the tech stuff? Who cares, someone – anyone – just write a blog. And tell them to send a Tweet while they’re at it.

Ring any bells? If you’re not on board with social media yet, don’t fret – you haven’t missed the boat. 

First things first, work out with your marketing / comms people exactly what you want to use social media for. Support a product launch? Promote an event? Spark debate about an industry issue?

As for your competitors, by all means see what they’re up to. It makes sense to learn from what they’re doing right (and wrong). But run your own race, in your own time.   


Social media communication and the role of paper

How to define the best communication strategy

In today’s business model, communication is key in order to be successful and create added value for your brand.  The way companies communicate has moved from a monologue – a one way stream – to a dialogue, where customers and other stakeholders interactively participate, where they exchange, promote and share information. As a company you cannot ignore the role of social media anymore, even more, you have to add this communication channel into your marketing & communication mix. The good news is that a lot of companies are considering integrating new and traditional media. However this is not always done in a straightforward way, and mostly a strategy is missing or not properly defined. The results of a live short survey we conducted during ‘European Dynamic Marketing Summit’, in Brussels November 2011, clearly outlined that there is a lot of interest, but also that many companies have questions about how to start, how to integrate and how to define a ‘new communication strategy’, both internally and externally.

Review your current communication channels: today.

Here’s a few tips if you are planning to review your communication strategy:
First analyze your current communication channels

       are they all successful? 

       why? or why not ? 

       can you measure the feedback/response rate?

       are you using them at the right time?

       for the right audience ?

       do you have budget / resources to set it up?

Set up a ‘communication task force’, with participants from all divisions of your organization (not only marketing and IT !!) to answer these questions. Discuss the results with the steering team and evaluate. 

You have a lot of information available now, so it is time to define your strategy and tactics. Keep in mind that the most common error in implementing social media is a missing strategy. Or the strategy is not (well) defined, not up-to-date, there are no guidelines, no best practices, or there is no structure. Sometimes companies are not using the right channels, products or tools, and most of the time there is no ownership: a team to ‘make it work’ and keep it going, and often there are no dedicated budgets or resources.

Be prepared and avoid pitfalls.

The top 5 mistakes:

  1. No (or not enough) monitoring tools or even worse: no defined KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators)
  2. Down sourcing: no support from senior management
  3. Speed before perfection
  4. Faking your social media presence, faking your on-line reputation
  5. Abuse of social media for ‘pure’ commercial activities

Select the right channel for your communication

This table outlines the strongest points for both traditional paper communication (direct mailings, letters, …) and social media (twitter, FaceBook, blogs …)


Social media channels are non-stop communication channels, they’re a great way to stay in touch with your customers and with the market, 24/7, but that requires resources, time and budgets.

Good content is key, whether it is an opinion piece, paper, direct mailing message or a twitter message. If the content is bad, people will turn the page of your direct mailing, but they will also stop following you in a social media channel. The ‘tone of voice’ can and will be different for each channel, but good content is a must. Digital media results (ROI, response rate, feedback, …) can be measured more easily than paper or printed communication results. Please use that advantage to monitor your efforts frequently. And last but not least: it is not print OR social media, it is print AND social media. Using both channels is a good foundation for a strong, direct and responsive communication platform, as they are most complementary.


It’s now or never – less than 100 days to drupa!

Did you get that horrible sinking feeling when you read the headline? You won’t be alone. With so much at stake, the Mother of all print shows can make the most seasoned marketing professional sweat. There’s always so much to prepare, so much to organize. And always so much more than you first thought. 

But for the next minute or two we ask that you park the panic. Take a breather as we explain how you can make some of that angst disappear. 

First up, get to grips with social media. It’s going to be big at this year’s drupa. And by big we mean huge. You simply can’t afford to be off the pace. drupa moves fast, and people will turn to blogs and tweets for up-to-the-second news.  Social media lets you tell everyone exactly what you’re doing , while you’re doing it. Which means they can come join you and share the experience. Need help? Speak to our Mr. and Ms. Social Media, Stan Lemmens and Maya Staels for a social media approach that fits your company profile. In the meantime subscribe to our blog, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube channels. We’ve got loads of pre-drupa stuff planned to help you engage with the media, and we’ll be posting more at the event.

But as important as social media is, it’s in the build-up to monster shows like drupa that traditional PR really proves its worth, certainly in the print industry. We’re going over every last detail with clients to make sure they’re seen by all the people that matter to them at drupa. And come May, the duomedia pr office practically re-locates to Düsseldorf, we’ll have a fully equipped office at the fairground. Now that’s support.

Not a client? We really should be talking – contact us today -

Be drupa smart – some practical tips

  • Plan, plan, plan – drupa gives you one shot every four years to get it right. Your PR manager  will help you. Speak of the devil, is that your PR hotline calling?
  • Tell your PR manager everything – let them know every activity in the pipeline, no matter how small, they’ll keep track too!
  • Go social media crazy – get your own channels in order and subscribe to all things drupa

Warm-up your audience – participate in a local pre-drupa event and get stakeholders talking. duomedia pr is likely to stage events in France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands and Belgium. We’ll keep you posted.