Social bytes: Daniel Prince

Daniel Prince, operations director of Danilo on the card industry’s happenings on ‘social’, online and in the media.

While fully committed to the tangible, Daniel Prince, operations director of licensed greeting card and calendar publisher is also a big fan of social media.

“Over the last 17 years, since I joined Danilo, I have been keen to do everything I can to gain a real understanding of the greeting card business and marketplace, as well as the calendar sector. Watching changes and keeping on trend is my focus.  Social media is one way I do this. (I can be found on Twitter @danprince1975)

So, April 4 saw the big launch of PGbuzz.net. It makes a change to have this newsletter come in from the Progressive Greetings ‘family’ arrive via email, to ensure everyone knows what’s happening in the greeting card world. With over several hundred publishers and well over 20,000 people working in our industry it’s a sign of the changing print times that we can now get news delivered twice weekly to our desks or phones as well as the monthly physical issues of Progressive Greetings.

I’ve really noticed how the publishing world has been evolving over last few years and we are seeing more changing design trends.  The teenagers of today have all witnessed and come from the digital post millennium age. There can’t be that many teenagers left who don’t spend up to three hours a day on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Snapchat etc.

I believe, as an industry we need to embrace the digital age and these new platforms, and while we have many long term stalwarts who I look up to and respect immensely in this industry it’s important to note the changing face of publishing and spot such trends from social media. We can’t stand still.

Thanks to social media, the story of United Airlines roughly ejecting a passenger made headlines around the world.
Thanks to social media, the story of United Airlines roughly ejecting a passenger made headlines around the world.

The recent United Airlines episode (showing how a passenger was removed from the plane) has shown how important social media is to a brand. Without social media we would have been none the wiser. Over $1bn was lost on stock market in company value.

This also affects greeting cards. It only takes one person to be offended by a card they spot in a major retailer and they simply get onto Twitter or Facebook or write to a newspaper and before you know it millions of people have seen it. And, as Clintons experienced last month with its ‘Grizzly bear design’, before they even had time to actually review the content they saw no option, but to withdraw the product, thereby avoiding a major consumer backlash, not only against the retailer, but the industry too.

In this instance, the understandable criticism of the design was that it was offensive to women. Clintons’ quick response was totally justified. However as a publisher of humorous cards, there is a fine line to be tread to create funny cards that amuse, but do not offend.

All publishers want to do is sell cards, and all a retailer wants to do is sell cards that the public want to buy. If a member of public doesn’t like a card they simply don’t buy it, but if it offends them they now can use the might of social media to get the card removed from sale.

With 1.8bn cards sold per annum it’s impossible to please everyone. But our industry doesn’t need any negative press so it was good that Clintons acted swiftly to quash the situation escalating any further.

Whether we like it or not, we all now have to be aware of the power of social media, which I think will bring benefits as well as concerns.

Easter card spotted on social media
Easter card spotted on social media

I saw this Easter card (pictured right) doing the social media rounds being shared and received lots of ‘likes’. If this had been seen on the card racks would it have sparked uproar? We are living in a world where the physical and virtual are learning to co-exist and greeting cards are very much part of this.”

Prince-ly Pointers

Best piece of advice you have ever been given/read? “Never react immediately – always sleep on things. A good night’s sleep puts things in perspective. This is a piece of advice was given to me by Chris James, Danilo’s sales director.”

Your guilty pleasure? “Playing on my kids’ PS4 when they go to sleep”

What wish would you like the PG Buzz fairy to grant you? “To see my beloved Tottenham Hotspur win the league.”

Who would you most want to go for a pint/glass of wine with? “Elvis the king”

Who do you most admire?  “My father Laurence Prince who has shown what can be achieved through perseverance and hard work as well as the importance of family values.”

Daniel Prince qualified as an accountant for a media firm, but soon after, 17 years ago he joined licensed card and calendar company Danilo, founded by his father Laurence Prince.

Pictured at top: Daniel Prince at a recent Nickelodeon presentation which saw Danilo presented with the Long-standing Licensee Award.

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