Showing posts with label giftware. Show all posts
Showing posts with label giftware. Show all posts

Monday, April 16

Giving Back: National Volunteer Week

This week, April 15-21, is National Volunteer Week, which is about thanking America's most valuable assets — volunteers — and calling the public's attention to all that they do to improve our communities.

Sponsored by the Points of Light Foundation and supported by USA Freedom Corps, this year's theme is "Inspire By Example." Copywrite, Ink. has long encouraged the businesses we work with, and communication-related companies within our field, to find new ways to give back to the community. We try to lead by example.

While we are currently engaged in several non-profit ventures, I would like to highlight just two projects today...

The first is our support of the National Business Community Blog, which is a nationwide community web log and news feed for businesses releasing information about their non-profit contributions and volunteer efforts.

Originally, we developed the blog for the state of Nevada, but recently decided to expand its exposure. As some of the most inspiring stories and charitable ideas from businesses (that could be implemented in Nevada or elsewhere) come from all over the country, it made sense.

Now, every work day, we share one example of a business giving back to its community or communities. Today, you can even learn more about National Volunteer Week.

The second, which will officially launch May 1, is our new agreement with the Volunteer Center of Southern Nevada (Volunteer Center) to provide a merchandise fundraising solution. As a sponsor of the Volunteer Center, we are developing a merchandise product line to help raise funds for its great work in Nevada. A portion of all proceeds from merchandise sales will help support the organization.

We encourage you to visit its Web site. The Volunteer Center helps people deliver creative solutions to community problems through volunteerism.

They will be one of two non-profit organizations that will benefit from our online mall concept. Once both non-profit organizations are added, we will be inviting others to participate as well.

The basic concept is to provide product lines for several companies and non-profit organizations and highlight them all within one online store. Since each organization will assist in driving traffic to the site, all participating companies and organizations will receive greater exposure and a greater fund-raising potential.

We have already amassed a team of more than 20 designers, beyond our in-house team, who are willing to participate in developing products for non-profit organizations. Each of them will receive recognition for their work as their designs are accepted.

In conclusion, I will be posting again on National Volunteer Week this Friday, specifically addressing how business giving has a tangible ROI for businesses, regardless of size and resources. Until then, I ask that everyone take a moment to stop and recognize some volunteers that you know this week. There is no doubt that they make the world a better place.


Tuesday, December 12

Using Web Tools

In case you have not noticed, there is a communication revolution occurring on the Internet that will eventually threaten anyone in advertising who forgets that it is a strategic and creative idea (and the ability to communicate that idea) — not technology —  that makes all the difference. An arsenal of design programs and commercial printer discounts are no longer enough to keep accounts happy.

Our last minute holiday greeting cards provide the perfect example. Five years ago, we made a substantial investment to produce Addy award-winning cards, using the traditional process. Provide creative direction and copy to a selected local designer, print them at one of our local printers, and assemble the rest in the office (the cards included a silver dollar and hand-stamped wax seals). The cost was around $10 per card. The turnaround time was nearly three months. The quantity was 500, about 380 more than we needed at the time.

Don't get me wrong; they were worth it. We still have several clients refer to them, and they were part of a bigger strategic plan for our company. I would do it all over again given the same circumstances.

Last year, those circumstances did not exist. We were too busy in October or November to get the ball rolling. After all, the standard rule of thumb is 2-3 weeks for the designer (even more on elaborate jobs) and 10 business days for printing.

Sure, we could have done what we sometimes do for clients who want design along with great copy: tap an out-of-market designer from our international talent pool, which reduces the cost by 50 percent and the turnaround to a few days. But even then, we didn't have 10 days for the printer.

So last year, we settled for 250 Hallmark cards with our name inscribed inside for around $3.50 per piece. It's the thought that counts, right? So this year, on Dec. 1, we started thinking differently.

Despite the same time constraints, we were able to produce and print a custom card, at about $2 apiece with no minimum, in three days. And, we also posted a public version that could (and can) be purchased by anyone before our order was filled. If you want to see the public version (without our logo inside), visit Think! Copywrite, Ink. store.

Sure, this year's card will not be featured in Communication Arts, but next year's might be. You see, the main point of this post is that our industry might consider thinking differently because the definition of 'value' is shifting.

Program reliant production artists, template web designers, low-grade video producers, mid-grade photographers, and 10-day print jobs with minimum quantity orders are all endangered species. Technology is no longer enough to sustain them as commercial communication is finally getting back to where it is most effective: communication ideas over tech suaveness.

Wednesday, April 19

Introducing Hun Productions

Here is the first design for our new creative line featuring modernized versions of vintage World War II posters. We decided to launch this line first because it's a fun and original product. It's also simple, something we could put up beyond Copywrite, Ink. logowear as a storefront place holder. You can also see the image and its "I'm Watching You" partner at Back Lot Projects

Tuesday, April 18

Adding Copywrite, Ink. Logowear

Before my Writing For Public Relations class ended in March, one of my students asked me if there were any crossover jobs for public relations professionals. I gave him the usual cross-industry answers, ranging from ad copywriter to event coordinator. There was another I forgot to mention.

A public relations professional, assuming they're a talented writer, could break into giftware industry. After all, someone has to write all those colorful quips and poems that decorate shirts, mugs, cards, and cups. I know they do because I worked on assignment for Stanley Papel Designs, one of the most recognized giftware manufactures in the world. It's a fun and competitive industry, especially if you can write messages that appeal to a broad audience.

I broke into the industry after sending a four-line resume that said nothing more than: "Experience: Great. Creative: Even Better." Stanley called me personally and said he's give me a shot, adding that out of all the resumes he received, mine was the only one short enough to fit on a mug. Go figure.

I was happy enough. It was a job and I needed jobs. I completed several projects for Stanley Papel before catering to more commercial clients. It was fun and I often missed it. Recently, I found out that I don't have to miss it anymore. Thanks to the advent of computer technology, I can test market giftware with Cafe Press and Zazzle.

Last week, we added Copywrite, Ink. logowear as a place holder to our new store at Cafe Press, but we already have some fun ideas and designs that we'll add in the months ahead. I'll preview a few here from time to time, but in the meantime, if you want to see what our logo looks like on coffee cups, T-shirts, and teddy bears, click on the links we've added on the right. Who knows? You just might like one for your very own.

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