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Affiliates Are Positioned to Support Local Printing Communities

Following PRINTING United Alliance’s acquisition of the Printing Industries of America (PIA), the 21 local Printing Industries of Americas Affiliates joined together to see how they could work together to continue to support their local print communities. Cary Sherburne spoke with members of Affiliate Operating and Education Committees about their plans for the future.


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About Cary Sherburne

Cary Sherburne is a well-known author, journalist and marketing consultant whose practice is focused on marketing communications strategies for the printing and publishing industries.

Cary Sherburne is available for speaking engagements and consulting projects. To get more information contact us.

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By Robert Lindgren on Jun 10, 2021

My personal experience as an Affiliate Association Manager in Chicago and Los Angeles for more than forty years is perfectly clear that the local associations located in metropolitan centers across the US and Canada are the key part of our industry's support structure since their founding in the 19th century. Tragically, Ford Bowers' failure to understand this reality led to the breakup of the national federation.

Fortunately, the result of this has been a concerted effort by the twenty-two local associations to increase their relevance to our industry which as your story shows is bearing fruit. As part of this, Joe Polanco (the long-time manager in Dallas) and I have created a bi-weekly newsletter centered on the management challenges faced by printers. This is now distributed by eight local Associations and it's growing.


By Gina Danner on Jun 14, 2021

I love the local support of our affiliates. I am concerned about the representation of the industry as a whole when it comes to political action., OSHA, representation with the USPS, and the various connections to ur OEMs.

As we look at the 22 disparate affiliates, the multiple smaller associations, and the complex issues in front of our industry, we need strong forward-thinking-value-based leadership for the industry.


By Robert Lindgren on Jun 14, 2021

Gina, I understand and agree with your concern as this is the relationship we enjoyed when we had a national federation, Printing Industries of America. This give our industry the resources and support of their local association and also provided the support on national issues that you mention.

Unfortunately, Printing United Association (PUA) unilaterally determined that it wished to fundamentally change the relationship by requiring the local association to surrender their assets to PUA, making the local staff employees of PUA, and providing all services an support from PUA primarily electronically with the local staff members totally focused on membership marketing.

This extraordinary proposal was considered by the leadership and Boards of Directors in each of the local associations and was, understandably, rejected.


By Gina Danner on Jun 17, 2021

Robert, I do understand the situation. I think PUA did a significant disservice to the industry and didn't understand the value of the disparate affiliates. I also think there are others that can help bring us together. Now is the time for creative leadership and to redesign the support infrastructure for the PSPs, OEMs, and Raw Goods Suppliers.

We have very big hurdles in front of our industry. My fear is the impact on the perception of print and the long-term viability of the printed sheet.


By Robert Lindgren on Jun 17, 2021

Gina, I agree with you and your description of the cause.

Unfortunately, PUA which created the break, could address this with a constructive olive branch but chooses not to do so.



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