Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Am I a Premedia Consultant?

I've come to realize that that must be the case. Yes, I most definitely am a Premedia Consultant.

It all makes sense. At least if I tell you a little story. My story.

A long long time ago I started my career as a Desktop Publishing Specialist. In those days it was all about text, fonts and typesetters - and, of course laser printers.

Then the technology made it possible to work with digital images. At first only black & white, but soon also color images. It didn't take long before my work description included everything but the actual printing process. I remember folding little paper sheets and struggling configuring the imposition software while the spectrophotometer was busy reading the latest test print.

Anyway. The term Desktop Publishing began to fade and was soon replaced by the term Prepress. Prepress referred to all the processes that occur between creation of a layout and final printing.

You may wonder why I write about Prepress in the past tense? That's because Prepress, to me, is as dead as Desktop Publishing. In fact, it has been for quite a while. That's why I'm really excited about the emerging talk about Premedia. It sort of fills the vacuum that the fading of Desktop Publishing and Prepress created.

Premedia is really simple. If you don't know what Premedia is, just tell yourself it's just like Prepress but for any media - not just printed media. Wikipedia has a definition of Premedia if you want all details.

The reason I'm excited by Premedia is of course that it extends the legacy of the craft that used to be my occupation. A craft that I was born and raised into. But, there's also another reason and that is because the objective of Premedia fits prefectly into today's marketing landscape. Take a look at this quote from Wikipedia's definition of Premedia:
”The ultimate objective and overall advantage of Pre-media is that assets and processes should not be designed to suit a particular media output - instead they will need to be ‘media neutral’ right up until the last moment, just before the communication is rendered for output.”
This is exactly the principle that I keep preaching in my work. If you are serious about Content Marketing or Social Media Marketing, sooner or later, you need to start thinking about Premedia. Premedia also plays a central part in the change I wrote about in an earlier blog post - The biggest challenge for marketing operations in 2010.

So, there you have it. I am a Premedia Consultant... well almost anyway.

I actually make my living as a Marketing Operations Management consultant and that's something different. Something that I might cover in separate post later on. I do, however have to admit that a lot of the work I do is in fact more related to Premedia than to Marketing Operations.

You know were I'm going with this, no? The point is that, if I'm having a hard time deciding what to call myself maybe you have too?

We're living in a time of change. Big changes are happening within Marketing and Media. Changes that have impact on work descriptions as well as on work positions and titles. I think we'll have to live with this confusion for some time still, but a few years from now I'm hoping that I can add Premedia Consultant as another chapter to my story.

So, what do you think? What's your story?
Do you agree with me that Prepress as a term is dead? Is Premedia the term you use to describe your business/work/title? Love to hear your thoughts.


1 comment:

  1. Johan, great little piece and thanks for referring to the Wikipedia page we put up. For the past 2 years I've relabbled myself as a pre-media person, first working for a corporate as their pre-media operations manager and now as (for want of a better word) a pre-media consultant.

    It's interesting to see that you are a Marketing Operations Consultant yet get to work on the pre-media side of things (handy given your background) yet there is still so much confusion over what pre-media stands for and who is dealing with it.
    This appears to come from the marketing side of the clients who want to pay less but acheive a greater impact with multi-channel output yet still manage these channels through multiple vendors, ok so there are no really true pre-media companies who can offer every entry and exit channel, but they could cover the main ones that marketeers are after.
    I wrote a piece on our blog recently called Jack of all Trades about how those same vendors are now requiring people to have every skill required for pre-media so they can save money and cover all bases...
    So although we have a revolution in how we communicate that final message, companies are wakong up to the need to diversify their business models.