Dear PSDA Members:
Through the rest of 2011, I will provide a short weekly update. Beginning next week, many of these updates will involve details about upcoming programs – some new, some reworked. Today’s topic is growth.
In recent conversations with the PSDA board and groups of members, we’ve discussed growth and what it means in the context of this association. As we close our fiscal year this week, I thought I would share some of these thoughts.
- Discipline. Growth starts with putting yourself in a position to grow. For the most part, it’s unglamorous work, largely invisible to members, and we’ve done a lot of it this past year. Shedding programs and activities that weren’t adding value, were losing money, or were consuming unnecessary staff resources. Overall, we tried to take a thoughtful approach to the use of association resources. I’m happy to report that as we close the 2011 fiscal year, PSDA’s will finish on solid financial footing – largely a result of that discipline.
- Value Proposition. Throughout the past year, we have engaged with PSDA members, forming and, in some cases, resurrecting volunteer committees focused on education, events, and membership value. A big focus for our team has been emphasizing quality in everything we do. Over the next few weeks, we will announce our plans for a series of regional events in 2012 and details about the 16th annual CEO Summit event. We will also unveil an improved website and eNewsletter, a more modern online sourcing tool and several online education offerings. All have been created with involvement from members and are designed to deliver value by providing our members with content they can’t get elsewhere – and, once again, by emphasizing quality. For an example of the results of this approach, I encourage you to take a look at the improvements to Print Solutions magazine over the past year. Furthermore, I encourage you to register and attend John Delavan’s free webinar taking place on Nov. 8 where he’ll discuss future plans for this valuable association resource. Learn more and register here.
- Investment. Discipline and a focus on quality will allow us to make some investments in growth in the coming year. Together with the PSDA Board, we have identified three criteria for any investments we make: (1) Identifying and attracting new members; (2) Increasing the level of engagement beyond the Principal level at PSDA member companies; and (3) Improving awareness about PSDA and the unique value proposition our members offer to the broader industry. Everything we do in 2012 – new programs, existing programs, you name it – will be designed to do one (or more) of these.
Beyond the financial and operational objectives that the Board and I are working on, I am committed to communicating more in 2012. Starting with the October issue of Print Solutions magazine, I will write a monthly column. While on the West Coast last week I was left with the sense that many members could benefit from more frequent contact with our team and other members. Expect more of that.
As you can imagine, we get a lot of inquiries and comments into our offices. Here’s one that came through in August, from a longtime member.
"I think you are doing a tremendous job in resurrecting the association! Thank you for everything that you have done for not only the new members but [for] us "old" ones too.”
That comment speaks to the growth challenge ahead. We will work hard to find ways to embrace both the "old" and "new" in this market – this is a challenge that is facing every PSDA member company. My commitment to PSDA members is that we will continue with discipline and a focus on quality while making smart investments where we see opportunities for growth.
Executive Vice President
Print Services & Distribution Association
Direct Line: 312.673.5822