Whew! You’re finally done - it’s been several long months of creating and executing a concept for a new admissions campaign, but the final round of edits is done. The last missing photo has been updated. So with final copy and design files, there’s just one last task: printing.
Ok, forget what we just said, you’re not actually done.
With hundreds of enrollment marketing projects under our belts, we’ve seen the good, bad and the ugly of printing. So how does a marketing or admissions office successfully navigate this final step? Does it make sense to handle printing internally? What are the benefits of having your vendor partner also coordinate this part of the project?
Here are a few simple questions to help you assess how to handle the production side of launching a new recruitment campaign.
Do you have the right role?
Is your team lucky enough to have a print manager on staff? If so, you’re likely in good hands. Don’t forget to include your print manager in the creative process - they will likely have valuable information that could shape the size, page count or grouping of deliverables.
If you don’t have this type of role within your team, check with the vendor who helped create your campaign to determine if they can oversee the printing process. Speaking from our own experience, we’ve been on hundreds of press checks for hundreds of clients, with projects that range from 1-color business cards to 6-color printing plus spot UV with custom die-cut and perfect bindery.
Do you have the experience?
One of the most common areas where printing goes sideways is paper selection. Whether it’s your own print manager or your vendor partner, make sure you’re working with someone who is able to suggest paper options that work best for the materials and also keep your budget in mind. Paper makes a huge difference in quality and how your pieces are received. Experience in this area is key to staying on-budget and also loving the final materials.
Do you have the time?
Managing the printing process involves a significant investment of time. After all, someone has to:
Get initial quotes (and likely revise them) from different printers.
Send all print-ready files and communicate order details to the printer.
Understand your proofs (likely the largest investment of time).
Attend press checks at the printer.
Communicate all delivery needs (and possibly bulk mail needs, too).
Coordinate in-hand dates or drop dates.
These are a lot of moving pieces to manage. Don’t underestimate the amount of time needed for printing, and definitely make sure that you’ve factored it into the overall timeline for your campaign.
Ultimately, you get what you pay for when it comes to selecting a printer and managing the printing process. With the right kind of planning and oversight, it is possible for print production to go smoothly, which means you’ll have those new items in hand right on time.
Have a small printing question or want to visit about what it would look like to partner with our team? Let’s talk.