"And the Oscar goes to…."

By Dawn Lospaluto
In February 28, 2013

A number of years ago, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences abandoned the “and the winner is…” line that preceded the opening of each envelope in favor of “and the Oscar goes to….” The reason, it said, was that calling one person a winner implied that the others were losers, and no one nominated should feel that he or she is a loser.

It seemed somewhat odd, therefore, when the closing number of the 2013 Oscar telecast was a song titled, “To the Losers” and included lots of those “non-winner” names. I suppose it might have been a nod to the old Tallulah Bankhead line, “I don’t care what they say about me as long as they talk about me.”

Hollywood does a great job talking about (and honoring) itself. In the run-up to the Oscars, the leading movies and performances of 2012 were in the spotlight before and during the Screen Actors Guild and Directors Guild awards, the Foreign Press Awards, the People’s Choice Awards, the American Film Institute Awards, and the various Film Critics Circles Awards, among others. Even the bad movies and performances get their moment of fame during the Razzies.

But all that publicity has a purpose: increasing traffic at the box office, where awards (even nominations) can boost ticket sales dramatically. The 2011 Best Picture, “The King’s Speech,” for example, earned about $135 million―slightly more than half ($74 million) coming in the weeks after it was nominated.

Printers can take a page from the Hollywood playbook when it comes to awards, which can underscore a printer’s reputation for quality, service, expertise, or innovation. While winning a printing award may not yield a multinational television audience of several hundred million people, customers waiting in your lobby will most likely be interested in and duly impressed by the awards mounted on your wall, particularly if they show honors from a variety of sources and/or over a span of years.

There are many awards for printing quality in our industry, although these are in some ways the least necessary because printers can prove their printing quality simply by showing samples of their work. It is much harder to show a sample of your customer service, or the innovative thinking that yields the results your customers want, or the management skills that make you reliable and easy to work with.

That’s one reason NAPL’s Customer Plus, Marketing Plus, and Management Plus Awards can be so valuable. These honors speak to your core values and capabilities, the kind of bedrock skills and creativity that make you a trusted partner in achieving your customer’s goals.

A Customer Plus Award alongside a customer testimonial can be powerful evidence to a new client that he has made the right decision in choosing you. Showing a prospect your history of Marketing Plus honors can be an important factor in convincing her that she will be safe in counting on you for a new campaign. And seeing the industry honor his printer at PRINT 13 with a Management Plus Award can reinforce a customer’s decision to stay with him even though he doesn’t have the lowest prices in town.

You may not need a theater full of thunderous applause to know that your work and your customer service are award worthy, but isn’t it time to be sure that everyone else knows, too. Take a few minutes right now to learn more about the NAPL Awards Program (www.napl.org/programs_and_awards) or call us at (800) 642-6275, Ext. 6309, and find out how your name can be printed on the inside of a winner’s envelope this year.

PS: What award do you value most or display most proudly in your shop?

Dawn Lospaluto

Epicomm Senior Director of Communications, Dawn has been the editor of Epicomm 's "Bottom Line" magazine and its predecessor publications, "NAPL Business Review," Printing Manager," and "The Journal of Graphic Communications Management," for 20 years. She also writes and edits several Epicomm member print and electronic newsletters, including [Re]View, Management Bulletin, Highlights, and Discover; press releases; and various marketing materials; and oversees Epicomm 's book publishing program. Dawn previously served as corporate managing editor for Allied (now Honeywell) Corporation and as a reporter and editor for New Jersey's largest evening newspaper. She is a graduate of Douglass College (Rutgers University) and holds an M.A. degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University, where she has served on the adjunct faculty.

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