Communications professional Nicole Morrison recently joined the team at Connecting for Results as communications & marketing consultant. She has over a decade of experience in public relations, but her own familial connection to the print industry sparked an interest in the field long ago.
What attracted you to the print industry?
NM: I come from a family of printers. My dad was in the industry for over 40 years and my grandfather had a long career in print before him. I guess there is ink in my veins, as they say. Gord Griffiths was a name I heard around the house growing up, so when I had an opportunity to work with Gord, and his partner Bob Dale, I jumped on it! When I first met Gord, we had a really insightful conversation where I realized there are a number of commonalities in graphic arts and the world of marketing and communications. They really are two sides of the same coin. When I made that link, it opened me up to a whole new world of possibilities in the industry.
How can the industry attract more young people?
NM: I think young people really gravitate towards finding purpose in the work that they do. I’m a millennial, and what I see with people my age is a desire to feel a connection to their careers in a way that matches their values. It’s the idea of wanting work to feel like more than just a paycheque because it’s an area of life where we spend so much time. Part of what stood out to me about Connecting for Results is the company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives. The organization prioritizes giving back to the industry and community – both through philanthropy and mentoring, which are important values for me. Another priority is recognizing all voices and supporting diversity. We are seeing these shifts on a global scale right now, and I think organizations that can adopt these principles will be successful in attracting young people.
In such a competitive landscape, how can printers win more sales?
NM: For me, success comes from taking the right approach. When we become experts, we can sometimes feel like we have all of the answers and don’t need to listen, but I think businesses can stand out by really listening to their customers. It’s so key to hear, in a customer’s own words, what their pain points are, because they could be surprising! I think the next step is taking that information and focusing on creative problem solving to come up with customized solutions, which can make all of the difference to our customers.
What is the state of the print industry today, in your opinion?
NM: Full of growth and opportunities! At a time in history where the majority of us are living our lives from home and online, print has the opportunity to stand out and offer variety. I never realized how much I valued physical books and magazines, or the vibrant packaging of a parcel when it arrives at my door. In a world that feels like it’s filled with screens and isolation, a hard copy can really help to create connection and leave a lasting impression. When I talk about consumption, it’s important for me to note all of the ways in which the industry has embraced sustainability, in both consumer products and large-scale printing. Whether it’s recycling physical materials to make new printers, or developing environmentally friendly inks, or embracing cloud printing technology, the industry’s ability to grow and adapt speaks volumes in terms of social and environmental responsibility.
What are some of the biggest opportunities you see in the print industry?
NM: I think embracing diversity and innovation can create opportunities. We hear this all the time, especially with COVID-19, companies that adapt will thrive. Sometimes we have the opportunity to make a decision, and other times change is thrust upon us whether we like it or not. But being open to change, and new ways of doing things, can lead to longevity. Part of having a growth mindset is embracing different perspectives across an organization, or looking for new perspectives. I think if there’s anything this pandemic has taught us in business, it’s that adaptability is essential.
Nicole’s responses were edited for length.
This article originally appeared in the March 2021 issue of PrintAction.