Log In | Become a Member | Contact Us


Market Intelligence for Printing and Publishing

Connect on Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Featured:     Printing News Joins WhatTheyThink     Printing Forecast 2018     Production Inkjet     Installations and Placements Tracker

Frank explains the challenges of staffing in a cross media world

Published on November 8, 2010

Cary Sherburne:  Hi, I'm Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I'm here with Frank Romano who needs no introduction, an industry luminary and Frank I'm kind of curious.  We talk a lot about printers needing to get into this cross media, integrated communications, marketing services provider, whatever you want to call it.  What are the key infrastructure elements that they must have to get into this environment and that would be people, process and technology?

Frank Romano:  You know because printers now are finding that their customers are not only using print to communicate.  They’re using electronic media and electronic methodologies, so the printer in order to satisfy those needs because if they don’t someone else will, needs to be a cross media kind of provider today, so they not only have to do print, but they have to have an infrastructure that helps their clients on Twitter and Facebook and all those new social media sites, so they need to build that IT infrastructure that allows them to offer those kinds of services.  Now by the way, the great thing about that is by interfacing in those electronic media areas they then have the opportunity to tell the client you know print does help you to stand out, so I think that is why you need to put it all together.  So they need a good IT system.  They need software that allows them to do personalize URLs, allows them to do QR codes, allows them to send out Twitter blasts, email blasts, all of those kinds of new electronic forms of communication that…  And again, they’ll need software to do that and networking to do that and computers to do that and there are vendors out there who provide all of those kinds of services.

Cary Sherburne:  And what about the people to do it because isn’t that one of the biggest challenges for printers maybe is finding the people?

Frank Romano:  That is going to be the hard job because in the old days the printing industry only competed with itself for employees.  You went and stole a press operator from another company, but today we need IT people and the problem is we’re competing with every other industry in the United States, so someone graduating from college with a computer degree now can get a job in telecommunications or transportation or whatever it may be and so the printing industry has to promote itself better in order to attract these really great people because they need that IT expertise.

Cary Sherburne:  And I understand that at your alma mater, RIT…  Is alma mater the right word?  Did you graduate from there?

Frank Romano:  No, I didn’t graduate from RIT.

Cary Sherburne:  Okay, your ex… where you were professor emeritus, RIT that they’ve broadened the scope of the school of printing management courses to include a lot more computer and IT and that kind of stuff.

Frank Romano:  We pioneered that by the way, back in 2000.  We created the first multidisciplinary program at RIT where one-third of the courses came from the printing school, one-third from the IT school and one-third from the design school and we brought them all together as the new media program.  It was called New Media Publishing.  By the way, it still is.  It is still on the books.  Over the years the program got modified.  I'm hoping that we go back to it because I think that was a good blend of all the right kinds of technologies, techniques, methodologies required by a modern printing company.

Cary Sherburne:  And RIT as an example has an internship program, right.  I mean you can work with RIT to get interns and to get information about new grads that might be available at most of the schools.

Frank Romano:  Actually it’s built into the curriculum.  They must do 2 periods of 10 weeks of paid work for which they get paid and they get credit and we help them to find those jobs.  Some of them stay with that company when they graduate, but most importantly they have a whole new outlook on the world, so when they come back from their first internship they really address their studies in a much different way.  They now realize they’re part of an industry.  They realize there is a job out there for them and it just changes their outlook for the better and it’s just a great experience.

Cary Sherburne:  You know this is a slightly different subject, but I was talking to somebody recently who was doing some training of veterinarians in Haiti because this group of veterinarians went to Cuba to learn how to be veterinarians and they never had any hands on, so you’re students don’t have that problem.

Frank Romano:  No.  By the way, our best internship is the 20 weeks on the Cunard ships.

Cary Sherburne:  Of course.

Frank Romano:  RIT students do all the printing on Cunard ships.  There are now three of them and they have actually offset presses down in the bowels of the ship and they print everything for the 3,000 passengers on there.

Cary Sherburne:  Menus and signs.

Frank Romano:  Menus, advisories, newsletters, just about anything you can possibly imagine.

Cary Sherburne:  That’s great.  I think when in my next life I'm going to be an RIT student.  Thanks Frank.

Frank Romano:  Thank you Cary.

         Email Icon Email    Reprint Icon Embed/Reprint

 

 

 

Recent Videos

 

Video preview: Fridays with Frank: Superior Opportunities in Finishing

Fridays with Frank: Superior Opportunities in Finishing

Published: August 17, 2018

Frank interviews Jay Smith at Superior Packaging and Finishing in Braintree, Mass. Superior recently acquired Acme Binding and now is one of the largest finishing companies in America.

 

Video preview: The Success of Roll-Fed Inkjet and Importance of Finishing

The Success of Roll-Fed Inkjet and Importance of Finishing

Published: August 15, 2018

Mark Hunt, Director of Strategic Alliances for Standard Finishing Systems, discusses the reasons behind the surge of popularity in roll-fed inkjet, and the importance of finishing. He also discusses what to expect at Hunkeler Innovations Days 2019.

 

Video preview: Flexible Packaging Moves From Conventional to Digital

Flexible Packaging Moves From Conventional to Digital

Published: August 14, 2018

Karen English, Market Development Manager for Printpack, shares how this conventional flexible packaging converter has implemented digital printing for a hybrid manufacturing process.

 

Video preview: The Ups and Downs in the Future of Print

The Ups and Downs in the Future of Print

Published: August 13, 2018

Kip Cassino, Executive Vice President of Borrell Associates, discusses the cross-generational evolution of print: what's expected to grow and what's expected to decline in the coming years.

 

Video preview: Frank Looks Back at—and Ahead to—Printing News

Frank Looks Back at—and Ahead to—Printing News

Published: August 10, 2018

Frank traces the history of Printing News from its beginning in 1928, and its founder and editor, Leo Joachim. Few magazines have made it to 90 years and Frank is glad that the new relationship between WhatTheyThink and Printing News will see a printed magazine continue. Especially for the printing industry.

 

Video preview: Snail Mail Shouldn’t Be Stale Mail: Five Game-Changing Envelope Products

Snail Mail Shouldn’t Be Stale Mail: Five Game-Changing Envelope Products

Published: August 9, 2018

Trish features five different innovative envelope products that can increase your direct mail open rate. She’ll share and explain what makes each product engaging, and include useful links and information for further exploration.

 

View More Videos

 





Become a Member

Join the thousands of printing executives who are already part of the WhatTheyThink Community.

Copyright © 2018 WhatTheyThink. All Rights Reserved