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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Printing Firm Receives Highest State Award for Environmental Protection

The State of Illinois recognized Plum Grove Printers, a small printing firm that transformed itself into green business leader.

Hoffman Estate, IL (PRWEB) December 12, 2008 -- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources honored Hoffman Estates-based Plum Grove Printers for its significant achievements in protecting the environment and boosting the economy. The Governor's Pollution Prevention Award was presented at the print shop on December 1st, 2008, the anniversary date of the opening of the firm in 1980. This is the 22nd consecutive year the awards were presented by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center.


Plum Grove Printers designed a 20-point program to reduce waste and increase sustainability through each aspect of production. The program includes buying only renewable power, using soy based inks, increasing the availability of quality recycled papers to its clients, and offsetting 100% of paper use with donations to the Nature Conservancy to protect old growth forests. The program actively encourages employees to think of new ways to increase eco-friendliness, like using real coffee cups instead of disposable dishware in the company lunchroom.

"My son Matthew was really involved in environmental stuff in college," explains Peter Lineal, who founded Plum Grove Printers 28 years ago. "During a summer internship Matthew analyzed our entire business looking for green opportunities. We knew we could do more but needed someone to focus on the task at hand."

Firm President Kim Evans said, "We knew we could do better. If you just work on it a little bit, you can be a whole lot greener than you were before," she says. "We're a factory with a staff of about 35, but now we only produce the equivalent of two to three garbage cans a week.

Lineal continued, "Matthew is currently in the Peace Corps in Honduras working with the local population and Nature Conservancy to protect and strengthen the National Parks and forests of Honduras. We now support him through the Nature Conservancy program in that country."

Plum Grove Printers promotes its green-friendly program to businesses through its websites, http://www.PlumGrovePrinters.com and http://www.PeterThePrinter.net, and through free use of its award-winning Green-Friendly logo.

The program also shows that green manufacturing is not prohibitively expensive. "We've seen less than a 2 percent cost increase," says Lineal. "But we have had to push our vendors to carry recycled paper stocks. Mills have universally responded to the demand, and in most cases, the pricing is almost identical. Many don't carry the recycled paper because it's inconvenient. If you don't ask, and you let them get away with not offering the eco-friendly options, then shame on you."

About the Governor's Pollution Prevention Awards & Illinois Sustainable Technology Award:

The Governor's Pollution Prevention Award is the state of Illinois' highest award for green-friendly sustainable business.

For the past 22 years, the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) has worked with the Illinois Governor's office to recognize outstanding pollution prevention efforts in our state. These annual awards are presented to businesses and organizations in Illinois that have successfully reduced the generation of gaseous, liquid, and solid waste. The Pollution Prevention (P2) projects this year saved the companies and organizations millions of dollars in material and disposal costs. The companies and organizations also prevented hundreds of tons of waste materials from being released into the environment and saved millions of gallons of water from being sent to treatment facilities.

(Excerpt from award ceremony)

Printing uses trees, and while trees are a renewable resource, printing still has an environmental impact. Plum Grove Printers has always recycled and avoided practices that were less than environmentally friendly. But the company decided that was not enough. In 2006, with the assistance of a college student on a green-friendly summer internship, Plum Grove reinvented itself with a multi-point program of going green.

Plum Grove Printers reviewed all aspects of the materials, energy, and supplies used in the printing process. This included examining the manufacturing, waste, and spoilage in an effort to come up with an affordable program of going green. Moreover, Plum Grove wanted a program that would encourage vendors and other partners to consider the environment as well. Plum Grove implemented an eco program that encourages customers to consider the environmental aspects of their finished products and to consider how they could help gain themselves recognition and build a wave of environmental awareness among businesses and the community. The program has resulted in a successful partnership with customers in practices such as shipping and ordering methods that cost the consumer less and help minimize environmental impact when compared to traditional ordering, production and product delivery systems.

About Plum Grove Printers:
Plum Grove Printers specializes in full color printing, digital printing, direct mail, bindery, and mailing. The firm was founded by Peter Lineal in 1980 near Chicago, IL, and has been repeatedly recognized as one of the Top 100 North American Printers by Quick Printing Magazine. Plum Grove Printers also operates a chain of self-service custom printing websites at http://www.PeterThePrinter.net].

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Direct Mail: the Facts

It's 2008: time to shake up your business, guide new customers to your services, and affirm your relationship with your existing client base. Is Direct Mail Marketing the right tool to grow your business? Consider this thumbnail primer on Direct Mail:




Old fashioned, or Timeless?

In the digital age, mailings may seem clunky, old-fashioned, and expensive. Despite this perception, investment in Direct Mail is growing -- sales resulting from mailings hit $421.3 billion in past years, and are projected to increase by $8.3 billion. There's a reason why you receive so much direct mail-- advertising by mail can work with rare effectiveness and distinct benefits.



Targetability

With direct mail, an advertiser can target potential customers down to the finest detail-- based on income, interests, household type, education, and lots more. Nearly every household and business on the market is within reach, giving you an audience with your ideal market.




Maintenance & Tracking

Direct Mail builds and reinforces existing consumer relationships through personalized mailings. Response rate is easily tracked through coupon redemption, return-card/call-back options, or other call-to-action fulfillment. You can gauge the effectiveness of your campaign and adjust it in a way that print advertising, for example, makes difficult.



High Impact, High Response

Because your message reaches prospects interested in your services, and because your advertising
is tangible and engaging, the response rates for Direct Mail are exceptionally high. 50% of Direct Mail recipients read it immediately, and of those, over 40% find the information they received useful; consumers spend on average 10 minutes reading direct mail. Such rates are unthinkable in email marketing!



Costly, but Cost Effective

Ahh, but email marketing is much cheaper. This is true: with mailing list, printing, and postage, Direct Mail has a higher cost-per-thousand than many promotional methods. Because you're reaching the right audience with detailed information targeted to them, however, and because your mailing encourages customer interaction, wastage rates are very low. And Direct Mail is not prohibitively expensive: at PetersPostcards.com, our direct mail postcards site, we can print, address (to a fresh, targeted mailing list), and mail full color postcards for $.28/piece, or even less! This is considerably less than even search engine marketing to give you face time with your best sales prospects.




Direct Mail is not for every marketing need, and works best coupled with sharp copy, and the right call to action. For speaking to your ideal marketing audience, promoting your brand, and filling the parking lot, good old Direct Mail has a lot of life left!



Cordially,



Peter "the Printer" Lineal