TRMC hosts AGM, looks to Love Paper campaign
Industry association The Real Media Collective held its AGM with a networking event, which paid tribute to a quartet of its key supporters who have now stepped back, and set the scene for a major consumer campaign to be launched in the new year.
The Love Paper campaign to be launched by the association after Christmas will target the digital generation, and aims to get them talking about paper and print. Northwood said, “Love Paper will highlight the many benefits of print, including to the younger generation, it will be in schools with paper-based activities, and it will bring home the accessibility of print, the experience of engaging with print, and the inclusivity of print to those who are not so digitally comfortable. Print has a great story to tell, Love Paper will tell that story.”
At the AGM – held at Sydney’s Establishment bar, and sponsored by HP and Currie Group – Northwood paid tribute to Katie Ashford and Brendan Shaw, both formerly of Ovato, John Walker formerly with Sappi, and Craig Dunsford from IMPG and Ovato, for their work with the association and its predecessors.
Earlier in the day Matt Aitken, CEO of IVE, had been re-elected chair of the TRMC Board, with James Hannan, CEO of Ovato as vice-chair, and Rodney Frost, CEO of Lamson Paragon, as treasurer.
At the event Aitken thanked Northwood and her team, explained that the executive committee and the Board now meet as one, and pointing to the graphic of the team’s photos behind him said, “We are actively looking at encouraging a younger and more diverse leadership team for the association. There is a lot of talent in the industry, which we aim to promote.”
Aitken told the AGM the board had earlier in the day spent time looking at the challenges and opportunities facing paper, and then had a session with HP and Currie Group where they considered the implications of the COP26 climate conference for print in the evolving business and the economic environment. He also paid tribute to the former board members, as well as Mark Roberts from AusPost who is stepping down after nine years.
The AGM heard that TRMC now has 692 members, some 66 per cent of whom are commercial printers, and 70 per cent of those are small to medium sized businesses. Around 27 per cent of members are from the brands, agencies and retailers, with publishers representing four per cent of membership. Reflecting on the year Northwood said “Clearly Covid was a tough period for the industry, and for associations, but we still grew. We reduced our operating costs by 23 per cent in the period, I would like to thank the team for their commitment", and looking ahead, Northwood said, “We aim to reach 1000 members next. There are 3000 printers in Australia and another 1200 in New Zealand.”
Pointing to major achievements of the year, Northwood highlighted the Power of Print campaign, which had 65,000 engagement points, and 520 attendees, and the IR and governance work under Charles Watson, which saw the successful reinstatement of Schedule X – providing for unpaid pandemic leave of up to two weeks for an employee, required by government or a medical authority to self-isolate for Covid related reasons; and permitting an employer and employee to agree to an employee taking double the period of annual leave at the half-pay – along with the creation of myriad Covid briefings and workplace templates specifically for the print industry.
Following the end of the official reception, held in one of the upstairs spaces, many of the attendees decamped to the ground floor of the Establishment to enjoy the opportunity to fraternise long into the night, revelling in the new restriction-free era.