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Printing Industry Commentator Dr. Joe Webb Starts New Blog at DrJoesBlog.com

Press release from the issuing company

Harrisville, RI April 14, 2005 -- Printing industry consultant, futurist, and commentator Dr. Joe Webb announced the availability of his blog, www.DrJoesBlog.com, focused on the discussion of printing, publishing, and new media trends. “Blogs have achieved mainstream status in relatively short time. They have become essential for executives and decision-makers who want to stay on top of news and opinion for new actionable ideas for their industry and are looking for a competitive edge,” said Dr. Webb. “When we look back at this period a few years from now, we will realize blogs served as incubators for many new media publishing ventures.” Dr. Webb is known for his often contrarian ideas, which help managers and executives question their assumptions and “common wisdom,” improving their strategic planning, and enhancing their ability to see new opportunities. He posts new items to the blog two to three times a week, sometimes more often. “Blogs are a free-form structure; as I get ideas based on the news or industry analysis, I can post them without delay and not be concerned about the time or space constraints of traditional media.” Dr. Joe Webb’s industry and economic commentary appears every Friday, exclusively at www.WhatTheyThink.com. “The blog supplements my weekly column, where my economic commentary appears exclusively. There is such an intense level of change in the printing and media industries that I found my column could not contain it all. Blogging also creates a closer, more immediate relationship with my audience.” In 1997, Dr. Webb became known as “Dr. Doom,” as he forecast that the Internet would negatively affect commercial printing shipment after 2000. The industry peaked in annualized shipments at $120 billion in August 2000 and then started its decline. “It dropped rather precipitously, losing about $8 billion in shipments before the tragedy of 9/11 and is now down about $25 billion since then. It’s still declining on an inflation-adjusted basis, but much more slowly,” according to Dr. Webb. “Thankfully, some vendors and printers listened back in 1997 and 1998, and they prepared. Today, low-debt, high utilization printers with the right technologies are doing well as their weak competitors suffer or go out of business. Vendors who had the right market expectations were able to adjust budgets and deploy resources to new markets; those who didn’t had serious financial problems.” Today, Dr. Webb sees an industry that is re-shaping itself. “Print is one medium among many, and marketers are using print to stimulate use of other media, such as direct mail being used to drive traffic to e-commerce sites.” He also feels that the use of offshore-printed materials from China and India will continue to grow, saying “the industry has to get ready for the time when one-quarter of our printing comes from other countries.” He also feels that U.S. printers should find ways to invest overseas, because “those markets are growing at a rapid rate, and print volumes can grow as those economies expand, even while commercial volume here is declining.” “Print’s viability as a medium is by no means assured in the long term, as broadband availability grows and the ability to access information instantly is a normal expectation of consumers and businesspeople. But, it’s not as though e-mail or other new media don’t have their own problems. Surveys show that depending on the campaign and Internet providers involved, up to 60% of e-mails are not delivered because of filtering and spam prevention and other security tools. When mailed, print materials have over a 99% delivery rate. Should people trust an electronic medium that promises a range of deliverability of 40% to 99%, or one a traditional one that can guarantee nearly 100% deliverability? E-mail’s low cost and convenience make it a valuable tool for communicators, but its problems mean that diverse, multiple communication methods are essential to be certain that communications reach their intended targets.” Dr. Webb has advised companies involved in the printing and creative markets since 1987. He earned his doctorate at the NYU Center for Graphic Communications Management & Technology, and holds an MBA in Management Information Systems from Iona College. His undergraduate work in marketing and managerial sciences was completed at Manhattan College. In 1995, Dr. Webb founded the TrendWatch marketing information service, which was sold to Reed Elsevier in 2000. He has conducted numerous proprietary projects, multiclient studies, and association research programs throughout his consulting career. He started in the industry in 1978 with Agfa-Gevaert’s Graphic Systems Division, and worked at Chemco Photoproducts (now part of Konica) until 1987. In 2003, Dr. Webb started a column in the industry-leading news site, www.WhatTheyThink.com. His observations in “Fridays with Dr. Joe” have become a “must-read” for the entire printing industry. The column includes his analysis of the economy and advice to industry management. He’s fond of saying “I’m not an economist, but I get to play one on the Internet every Friday.” The column highlights his debunking of industry myths and “common wisdom” with hard data and analytic thinking. Dr. Webb’s work was recognized by GAMIS, the leading market research organization for the printing industry, when he received their Neil Richards Visionary Leadership Award in 2004. Dr. Webb, in conjunction with other leading industry consultants and thought-leaders, is in the process of completing a major research project about the commercial printing industry of 2015. He is available for private consultation, sales and planning meetings, and keynote speaking events. Consulting and speaking inquiries are handled through Naselli & Associates. Contact Mr. Vince Naselli at 1-732-568-0316 or at vince(at)naselliandassociates.com