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WA State Senate Majority Leader Not Running — Business Taxes, Environmental Regs at Risk

Posted Tuesday, April 15, 2014 by Jules VanSant.

An update from PPI Lobbyist in Olympia, Washington, Bill Stauffacher

YOUR VOICE MATTERS _ Get involved with PPI Washington PAC. Learn more by contacting or CLICK HERE to download a form and make a contribution to the 2014 efforts. WA PAC Donation Form

Rodney Tom, Dem 48th District, WA State

Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom, a Democrat, announced this morning that he is not running for re-election in the Washington State Senate. In late 2012, Tom and another Democratic colleague, Sen. Tim Sheldon, joined with 23 Senate Republicans to form the Majority Coalition Caucus (MCC). In 2013. The MCC had a one-seat majority before picking up a Democratic-held seat during a special election race in 2013. Today the MCC has a two-seat Senate majority (26-to-23) while Democrats have control of the Governor’s mansion and the House of Representatives.

The MCC is seen as the last line of defense against increased business taxes and additional environmental, consumer and labor regulations sought by legislative Democrats. Tom’s departure from this key race means the Senate MCC is seriously at risk during the 2014 elections.

Senate Republicans can maintain their majority, but the Senate Democrats now have thebest chance to date to regain the majority and to give Democrats complete control in Olympia. To do so, Democrats must keep a current Democratic seat (very difficult) and win two or the four of these GOP/MCC-held seats:

  • Tom’s seat in Bellevue – a swing Democratic seatWashington State Seal
  • GOP Sen. Andy Hill, the Senate Ways and Means chair, in Redmond (Microsoft suburbs) – a straight swing seat
  • GOP Sen. Steve O’Ban in suburban Tacoma (University Place and Lakewood) – also a straight swing seat
  • GOP Sen. Michael Baumgartner in Spokane – a swing Republican seat.

If the Democrats cannot keep control of the seat held by retiring Democratic Sen. Tracey Eide in south King County, then the Democrats must win three of the four GOP-held seats. In the Eide seat, Republicans have a terrific candidate: former state Rep. Mark Miloscia, who switched parties to run as the GOP candidate.


Bill Stauffacher, Stauffacher Communications on behalf of PPI Association

Tom’s seat could easily go back into the hands of Democrats who do not participate in the MCC. House Ways and Means chair Ross Hunter or first-term Rep. Cyrus Habib may jump to the Senate race, but the Senate Democrats must push aside their current caucus-backed candidate to clear the field for either Hunter or Habib.

Tom represents a district that includes Bellevue, a suburban city that has become more Democratic since redistricting. Tom’s independence and decision to join with Republicans to give the GOP coalition a working majority in the upper chamber drew the ire of Democrats in Olympia. However, within his own district, Tom’s positioning played well with the financially moderate and socially liberal voter base.

In his announcement to colleagues, Tom cited family health concerns. At the end of session, Tom dealt with a serious bout of kidney stones. He also needs to care for his father, who was seriously injured in a car accident in recent weeks.

Filing for election is mid-May. More surprises are yet to come.

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Posted Monday, March 31, 2014 by Jules VanSant.

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From Lisbeth LyonsVice President, Government AffairsPrinting Industries of America

The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote this Thursday on legislation to combat abusive litigation practices. Now is a critical time for printing and graphic communications executives to voice their support of a legislative solution to address the extortive behavior of patent trolls that have been attacking printing companies at an alarming rate. Please take action today to urge your U.S. Senators to support bold, comprehensive patent reform legislation.

“When my parents ran a printing press in Vermont, they did not keep a patent expert on staff. I do not know many main street businesses that do. The strategy for patent trolls is to extort settlements from parties that lack the resources to defend a lawsuit.” —Senator Patrick Leahy (VT), Judiciary Committee Chairman (3/27/14)

Take Action Now!

Printing Industries urges companies whose Senators sit on the Judiciary Committee and all printers regardless of location to voice support of patent reform legislation NOW as the action heats up on Capitol Hill. Through our partnership with the Main Street Patent Coalition, member companies can advocate in the following ways:

1) Call your U.S. Senators. (A call script and feedback form is provided.)

2) Write your U.S. Senators. (A customizable, pre-written letter is provided and will be sent electronically.)

3) NEW! Tweet your U.S. Senators. (Leverage social media to contact your U.S. Senator and to engage others to take action, too.)

The Industry Challenge

Patent troll

“Patent Assertion Entities” (PAEs), commonly referred to as patent trolls, assert patents against companies that have inadvertently incorporated patented technology into their products. Since trolls generally do not produce or sell anything, they are not at risk of infringing other patents, allowing them to assert patents aggressively without fear of retaliation. Often defendants, especially smaller companies, will choose to settle to avoid expending time and resources on costly litigation. Currently, patent trolls are targeting printers by asserting rights to least eight patents, including those related to CTP workflow, QR codes, Intelligent Mail Barcodes, and more. Patent trolls are also targeting other non-technology businesses, such as hotels, restaurants, and retail shops. The economic harm is evident. In 2011, patent troll activity cost the U.S. economy $80 billion in direct payouts, legal costs, and/or lost productivity. Hundreds of printers across the country have reported receiving a threatening demand letter from a PAE. Common demand letters seek up to $95,000 to avoid litigation. Printers estimate spending $10K–$15K for initial legal fees plus up to 150 hours of lost productivity to address the patent troll demands.

The Industry Solution

In December, the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 3309 (Innovation Act) by a bipartisan vote of 325–91. Now it’s the up to the U.S. Senate to act. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) have introduced bipartisan legislation; other Senators have introduced legislation aimed at specific patent reforms and an effort is under way to produce a comprehensive reform package that will pass the Judiciary Committee and the full Senate with bipartisan support. Such reforms include: addressing bad-faith demand letters; litigation reforms to discovery, pleading standards and fee-shifting to deter frivolous patent cases from being filed; enacting a customer stay provision to allow manufacturers to help defend customers and improve patent quality and transparency to prevent trolls from abusing vaguely constructed patents; providing education and assistance to small businesses that are victims of patent trolls; and more. The Senate Judiciary Committee will unveil its reform package this week at the earliest. Printing Industries of America supports a bold, comprehensive approach that includes the above reforms in order to combat abusive litigation practices while at the same time protecting the rights of legitimate innovators and patent holders.

Printing Industries of America Advocacy

Printing Industries of America and its affiliates have been at the forefront of lobbying Congress and the Obama Administration to pass legislation to combat abusive patent troll practices against printing companies. In addition to direct lobbying of the House and Senate, our efforts include:

Print’s Voice Capitol Hill Fly - In lobby visits with key lawmakers (Register Now! May 6–7 in Washington, DC.) - End-User Roundtables with House Judiciary & Leadership (July 2013)

Michael Makin Testifies Dec2013 Printing Industries CEO Michael Makin testified before Senate JudiciaryCommittee (December 2013)

Participated in White House Roundtable by exclusive invitation of Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, National Economic Chairman Gene Sperling, and Patent Trademark Office Director Michelle Lee. (February 2014)Participated in “Great Patent Debate” at Newseum w/ Sen. Lee & Rep. Policy (March 2014)Ongoing efforts include earned media placements of letters to editors, op-eds,nterviews with key Capitol Hill and business journalists, as well as paid media print and TV ads and special event forums.

It is critical that industry executives weigh in to provide grassroots advocacy in support ofcombatting patent trolls and reforming the patent litigation system. Please take action today!

For additional information, please visit or email us at


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PPI E-News March 2014

Posted Friday, March 21, 2014 by Jules VanSant.

Spring Forward with Constructive Cocktails & News You Can Use

Join our PPI E-News List

For Email Marketing you can trust.


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Sales Presentations — What You Need to Know

Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 by Jules VanSant.

Guiding Sales Teams to Land Must-Win Deals

From Lisa Magnuson’s latest e-newsletter: Top Line Tips

If you sell, then you probably do sales presentations. If you do presentations from time to time, then you know about the many steps involved in creating a winning presentation. If you’re delivering winning presentations, then you’re obviously enjoying a much greater level of success than those who don’t. Success depends on your performance, and a great performance depends on having the knowledge and planning expertise needed to hit a home run whenever you step up to the plate. Let’s commit to delivering a winning presentation each and every time! (Polite nod to the book, ‘If You Give a Moose a Muffin’ by Laura Numeroff)

By focusing on both the strategic impact areas and the tactical essentials for each stage of the presentation process, we can ensure that not only is a home run hit each and every time, but it’s out of the park, and on any kind of pitch! Below are a couple of examples for each stage.

Prior to Presentation

Prior to the presentation, there are a couple of strategic ‘must do’ activities to get the process started on the right track. The first is to determine your win themes™ or those 3-4 key messages you want to convey as your overall objectives. These important ‘bullet points’ can be found at the intersection of your audience’s priorities and your strengths. Once developed, these give you your messaging framework, which translates into a more focused agenda and ultimately an impactful (and influential) presentation.

On the tactical side, a formal dry run, at least 1-2 days in advance of the presentation, will give the team time for critical review or refinement of the finished product. Have an objective person like a sales manager or sales coach attend to offer honest feedback, especially on win theme™ impact. (Trick: don’t tell this person what your win themes™ are, but ask them to tell you the top 3-4 things they remember most from the presentation. This will give the team an excellent gauge on win theme™ effectiveness.) One tactical mistake that I see over and over again is not allocating enough time for the dry run. If the team is large (I.e. number of presenters is more than 2 or 3) and the presentation complex, then figure on taking from 3-5 hours of final team practice for every 1 hour of presentation time.

Day of Presentation

Most of us already know many of the tactical essentials to have on stand-by on the day of the presentation. However, I’ve developed a comprehensive checklist as part of my Winning Presentation Prep Guide, which is available for the next 30 days on my web site. A few of the tactical essentials are less obvious, so the checklist should really come in handy. However, on the strategic side, there are a couple of tips to really enhance your presentation, starting with the introductions.

Of course, it’s polite to have the audience introduce themselves first, but when it comes to your team’s turn, have them frame their introductions around an impact to the customer. In other words, instead of simply stating your name and title, add your role or impact as it relates to the customer and their needs. Maybe you’ve been involved with the account for many years, helping in the background to secure important resources. This is an extremely impactful element to include in your introduction.

The second suggestion to enhance your presentation is to have at least one example or story per slide. The audience will really connect with stories, and by challenging yourself and your team to weave relevant examples, trends, and stories throughout, you will not only capture their interest, but hold it securely for the duration of the presentation.

Post Presentation

Lastly, there are some critically important items to consider doing once you finish your presentation that can often be forgotten in the aftermath. Follow up on action items, additional information and thank you notes is a must. In addition, circling back to your sponsor to ask them if the presentation hit the mark will yield valuable feedback and open the door for further interaction and opportunities. It’s also beneficial to schedule a post-presentation de-brief meeting with your internal team to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the presentation, including the delivery, and make any necessary adjustments while it’s all fresh in everyone’s mind. And certainly not least, for successful outcomes – celebrate!

We’ve covered just a few examples, for the full picture; go to to get your Winning Presentation Prep Guide. Presentations are always hard work so it makes sense to cover all your bases to hit it out of the ballpark each and every time. I’d love to hear your productive presentation success stories.

Want a simple plan for executive engagement?

Look for our latest offering coming in April – The Simple Executive Engagement Plan

If you want to grow your business exponentially, then you need this simple plan. It includes a book, workbook, templates and audio instruction.

Lisa D. Magnuson, Founder, Top Line Sales, LLC

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SCAM ALERT – Printers of all Types Beware!

Posted Friday, March 14, 2014 by Jules VanSant.

Here is an email letter I received today. Not unlike others that I have received over the past few years for fliers, they do respond, asking for an attractive quote and willing to use a card for payment, but asking for you to prepay the shipping… but the card never works, even if you get pre approval.

Guess where that money goes… along with any really money to you. That’s right, to the scammer. And any inventory you purchased to cover the project… ouch.

Good Day,

My name is Arnold Desmond. I’m the C.E.O/Owner, Jim Pex Group Nig. Ltd. We are agent to several Ministries in Nigeria on contract basis.Right now, we are contacting you to ascertain your position and capability to bid for the supply of 1,200,000 pieces of T-

shirt to the Ministry of Health for the On-going AIDS Eradication campaign/program in the country. If you can bid for this contract through me as your local agent here, please do not hesitate to contact me immediately.

T-shirt Specifications:1). Color: White

2). Sizes: L: 500,000pcs, XL: 400,000pcs, Small: 100,000pcs, Medium: 200,000pcs3). Type: Normal European type4). Neck: Round Neck5). GSM: 1806). Price: $6.0 per T-shirt7). Printing: No printing8). Embroidery: No Embroidery9). Mode of Payment: 100% upfront by T/T . 40% of total contract sum paid to commence production after signing c

ontract agreement and the remaining 70% to be paid after production but before shipment.


Contact person: Mr. Arnold DesmondCell: +xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Make sure your sales people, estimating department and CSRs know to be suspicious and not enamored with the “great opportunity.” It’s only going to end bad, on so many levels.- See more at:

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