Sponsoring Dorset Wildlife Trust: A walk on the wild side

Last week, we were given the opportunity to join other local business representatives on a walk on the wild side hosted by Dorset Wildlife Trust.

The Trust is launching their Eco-Awards for Businesses and wanted to run this inaugural event and, as RPM is a corporate sponsor of the charity, we were one of the first businesses to sign up.

We met deep in Dorset’s unique heathland and were welcomed with a delicious cup of tea from Dorset Tea.

After Dr Simon Cripps, Chief Executive of the Dorset Wildlife Trust, joked that they had ‘finished putting the wildlife out’, we set off at the Higher Hyde Heath nature reserve.

On our walk we saw the rare round-leaved sundew, a carnivorous plant with long, sticky hairs on its leaves which trap insects that are attracted to them then curl inwards, drawing the insect in to the centre of the plant allowing the plant to slowly digest victims for added sustenance.

We were fascinated to learn about the life cycle of the rare silver studded blue butterfly who have an unlikely relationship with ants. Ants protect the butterfly’s eggs from predators and parasites and, in return, the ants feed on a saccharine secretion produced by glands on the larvae.

After the walk we had a welcome coffee and roll at the Dorset Golf and Country Club.

This truly was a fantastic, informative event and we were so pleased to meet other local business representatives who really care about Dorset’s unique ecology and wildlife.

Why we’re helping local recycling charity Ideas2Action

We've teamed up with local recycling charity Ideas2Action by producing copies of their revamped ‘We Need That!’ recycling directory.

Ideas2Action’s ‘We Need That!’ directory shows that the items you may be throwing away could be used to help good causes. For example, did you know that the Dorset Blind Association can make use of your unwanted bubble wrap and Dorset Community Foundation would like your junk mail?

As an environmentally conscious print and digital media business, we have agreed to supply copies of the recycling directory for free specifically for those older people who do not have access to the internet.

Lyn Place from RPM said: “We take our commitment to recycling very seriously and working with Ideas2Action is fantastic opportunity to honour that commitment. They do brilliant work locally and I’m pleased we now have somewhere to recycle items like used marker pens and highlighters that will benefit the local community.”

Ideas2Action aims to cut the amount of waste that Bournemouth and Poole residents throw away or send to be recycled, whilst simultaneously benefitting local charities, educational and community organisations, and artists. To find out how and what you can recycle visit: www.ideas2action.org.uk or find them on Facebook or Twitter.

Environmental commitment the very highest environmental accreditations

We are proud of our environmental commitment and have worked hard to achieve the very highest environmental accreditations.

Our business practices are founded on working as ethically and sustainably as possible and, minimising our environmental impact is not only important to us, but to our customers too.

That’s why we take recycling seriously.

We recycle all of our waste paper and card and have reduced the amount we send to landfill by 65% over the last 8 years. We now produce less general waste than the average household.

As a Xerox Partner, we return our used cartridges to Xerox so they can be properly recycled. In fact, Xerox customers return more than 2.5 million cartridges and toner containers annually through the Green World Alliance recycling program. That’s over 145 million pounds of waste kept out of landfills over the past 20 years.

At RPM, we were one of the first print companies in our area to achieve ISO14001 but decided we could do better. So we developed our own environmental management system, based on the ISO model but more effective, and sent the money we saved to the local Wildlife Trust.

Our customers can rest assured that our processes are environmentally friendly.

Why are Printers terrible at spelling?

Why are Printers terrible at spelling?

When your job is to design or lay-up artwork you would think that a good command of the English language would be a prerequisite. It seems not. In the days of typesetting, mistakes were less common because the preparation process was slower. Nowadays the content is generated from the computer keyboard, and given that human beings are a reliable source of error, they fail to use Spellcheck or sometimes any kind of check. It is a source of minor irritation to me, particularly when some mistakes are so blatantly obvious. Is this aimed at a passing horse?

The famous example below proves the spellchecker was not switched on. Or maybe it was switched to a multi-national mode and ‘Onilne’ means something in Bulgarian. In a moment of marketing genius the bag was declared a ‘special edition’, giving it value as a collectors’ item. But who signed this off in the first place?

Even in my car (Japanese, granted) there is no escape. The ubiquitous ‘your’ vs ‘you’re’ mistake. My Inspector Dreyfus twitch is triggered.

Proof reading is actually fun. People should do it more often. I like to think of it as a treasure hunt and pride myself on finding mistakes before anyone else does. So, imagine my disbelief some months ago when a prospect complained of a serious typo on our website (which I had proofed). I discovered that what we sell is called ‘Stationery’ and not ‘Stationary’. I never knew! No doubt this is the reason for many errors that are made. So to answer the question in the title I will conclude that printers either don’t know enough, don’t check enough, and of course they are usually in a hurry, so you can’t blame them.

Remember, typos are just a collection of ‘Special Editions’ waiting to be cleverly marketed.

Ed: This blog is weird.

Upheaval and Evolution means targeted mail has a brilliant future

Feldmuehle Uetersen Paper Mill files for insolvency

In shock news for our industry we saw 2 German paper mills file for insolvency last month : Papierfabrik Scheufelen Paper Mill files for insolvency. Then came the announcement of a merger between Xerox and Fujifilm, brought on by a drop in demand for photocopiers with up to 10,000 job losses. Closer to home, print companies going into liquidation has become familiar. Our paper supplier (always the best source of intelligence) says he’s never known anything like it.

We like to think of it as evolution. Nowadays more and more business processes and marketing activities are carried out online and as the cost of paper only ever increases money can be saved by switching to electronic methods. Modern marketing is emailed not posted. Plus there’s the environmental impact to consider, so that using less paper is a good thing.

Yet there still remains an important role for print. Demand for unique and personalised print is actually growing. With so much digital marketing assaulting our senses IT’S DIFFICULT TO GET YOUR VOICE HEARD. Printed items stand out and hang around. Data from JICMail shows how 21% of all mail items prompt a commercial action, with 10.7% of recipients discussing the mailing piece with someone. Add the impact of personalisation to that and you've got the best chance of being noticed.

So we aren’t selling our printing machinery just yet. Especially since the ICO confirmed that even after GDPR becomes law in May “You won’t need consent for postal marketing” (you will for email). We are anticipating an upsurge in demand and have invested in the latest technology that evolves with every update. With our system single pieces of targeted mail can be triggered automatically as part of your marketing campaign. It's brilliant.

Try a demo for yourself

We offer a joined-up marketing and communications automation service that includes print, email, web and mobile.

That GDPR thing

Understanding GDPR Data Cross-media Multi Channel Marketing Bournemouth Poole and Dorset

We’ve all heard about the May 2018 deadline looming, been invited to numerous events and received email blasts on the subject of the General Data Protection Regulation and how it affects business. You think you’ve got your head around it, and then a passing comment makes you think, ‘have I’? If you haven’t done so already try this self assessment to see how ready you really are. https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/resources-and-support/data-protection-self-assessment/getting-ready-for-the-gdpr/

When planning a marketing campaign it will become critical to employ the services of a processor who is reliable and trustworthy and who can guarantee compliance to the law. That’s where we come in. We know the questions to ask.

If you’re using us for emails – has the recipient opted in to receive them? Perhaps they are an existing customer, meaning soft opt-in applies – but what about the new E-privacy regulations coming in later in 2018? http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-17-17_en.htm

If you’re using us for direct mail – the good news is, relevant printed mail does not need prior consent, but you must tell the recipient how to opt out, record this information and stick to it. We automate all this.

If you’re using us for personalised marketing campaigns – we need to talk about profiling and legitimate interests. This can get quite complex so we have developed a guide for users of our automated marketing service, to simplify things and address issues of security, legal basis for processing and data retention. When you employ us as data processors you can be sure that our systems are compliant, secure and up-to-date as we follow the developments in data protection law very closely. We have been registered with the ICO for over 15 years.

We may be small but we are proud of our reputation as trustworthy and reliable suppliers to the vibrant digital economy of the South coast.

Please get in touch if you’d like to know more.

FSC ® is not news. But it should be.

RPM FSC environmental accreditation

A lot of printing companies offer to print FSC or PEFC documents for their customers. It’s not exactly news, and most digital papers nowadays are FSC certified anyway. Forests are managed for paper production and demand for print overall is reducing. But we can still do more to protect our precious planet. RPM is doing its bit.
Being printers it hurts us to say this, but we think you should print even less. That’s why we’ve invested in solutions that can send your messages across email, text, web and social media, in a joined-up way and keeping print to a minimum. And when we do print out that personalised, targeted and relevant message that clever marketing should produce, we want it to be on FSC paper, non-laminated and as short as possible. Keeping the environmental footprint to a minimum and your costs as well. FSC makes more and more sense every day.

RPM Digital is a member of an FSC certified group scheme

RPM inspired to go plastic free thanks to BBC’s Blue Planet 2

Here at RPM we have always been environmental fanatics. We cycle, recycle and reuse – take a look at our Environmental Policy. But having seen the shocking truth about the impact plastic is having in the oceans we’ve decided we must do more.

The facts are terrifying. The UN describes it as a ‘Planetary Crisis’. One million plastic bottles are bought every minute. Enough is enough.

We will do the following:

  • Write to all our suppliers immediately to ask them to reduce the amount of plastic they use in their packaging
  • Replace bubblewrap with corrugated cardboard for packing out our delivered print.
  • Encourage customers to stop laminating print, and if this is unavoidable, offer biodegradable laminate.
  • Use metal wires on wirobound books instead of pvc coloured ones.
  • Ensure that all pallet ties and any other small items of plastic are secure before putting them in the bin to prevent any being blown away from the bin lorry
  • For liquid items such as washing up liquid, soap and milk buy only the largest sizes to reduce the number of bottles bought.
  • Do a litter pick on our industrial estate.
  • Remind staff of their responsibilities and encourage them to follow suit at home. (We use mugs and glasses so there are no plastic bottles at work).

Please, will you consider what changes you can make to your lifestyle and your company practices before it’s too late? Tell us about it. Let’s start a movement.

RPM Cyber Essentials

You’ve probably  heard of Cyber Essentials by now. It’s a cyber security standard first launched by the Government in 2013. The scheme focuses on the following five essential mitigation strategies:

  • Boundary Firewalls and Internet Gateways
  • Secure Configuration
  • Access Control
  • Malware Protection
  • Patch Management

Having been in the digital print game for so long we have been targeted by cyber criminals in the past, and whilst we remained protected, we decided that if Cyber Essentials was good enough for the MOD it was good enough for us! Our system passed first time and was proven to be robust, being hosted and supported off-site in a data centre, but the report brought up some interesting points. 

Issues around cyber attacks are only going to get worse and we all have to build in technical security to our business budgets, to protect valuable data. If you don’t have Cyber Essentials already, you should look into it. It forms around 70% of the ISO 27001 standard, which is our next target standard. We will keep you posted on our data security achievements.

We found this interesting magazine online with a fascinating video about the dangers with "The Internet of Things" - Take a look here

Print makes a comeback

Personalised Print

In the current digital world, where you’re connected to everyone by a device sitting in your pocket, marketing to people has become easier than ever.  So what’s happened to print?

I’d like you to think back, just for a moment, to a time before the internet and smartphones (I know, it’s tough to imagine) when you would come home from work and have to force the door open to get past all the mail you had received in the post. And guess what? You wouldn’t bother to look at any marketing material because you were getting bombarded with it.

Now come back to the present day (it’s good to be back, right?), and think about when you come home from work tonight and you open your door and it’s the weight of a feather, and then you check your email from your smartphone and then comes the bombardment of marketing messages. And guess what? You don’t read them.

So are marketers missing a trick? and is there a place for print again in this digital world?

Of course there is! Research shows that 87% of people considered mail believable compared to only 48% for email. Think about it. That’s a potential improvement of 39% for every print piece you send over an email. Now I know that sending an email comes at little to no cost but print really isn’t that expensive! And 47% of people feel that a printed item is important, compared to 15% with electronic messages.

Print has become rare in our digital world but the way we produce print nowadays has changed enormously. If you were sending a piece of print 10/15 years ago it would be a mass send (much like an email now) and offer little-to-no personalisation. Today a piece of print is not only a method that feels like a breath of fresh air for the consumer, it can be easily targeted and personalised to make a lasting impression and increase your engagement rates.

Can print be added to your current marketing campaigns?

Yes is the answer! In fact it’s encouraged. A Brand Science review of multi-channel campaigns concluded that when mail was included in the marketing mix, campaigns had 12% bigger ROI than those without mail. Just think about that stat for a second and the benefit that print could bring to any current campaigns you are running, especially automated prospect journeys.

Interested in finding out more about mail campaigns?

At RPM we specialise in personalised print and integrated marketing campaigns. We’ve just launched a new website and would love you to take a look HERE. Your feedback is encouraged and welcomed. Please email me at marketing@rpmdigital.co.uk for more information.

By Jordan Howell

Digital Marketing Manager

Jordan Howell