We caught up with some of our previous Print Futures Awards winners to see how they’re getting on and the impact winning an award has had on their career development.
“The courses gave me the confidence to implement my strategies and ideas”.
Becca Parkinson, Engagement Manager at Comma Press, won a Print Futures Award in 2018, using her grant for two courses at the Publishing Training Centre – Writing for the Web and Introduction to Marketing – plus the cost of travel to London to complete them.
Reflecting on what they enabled her to learn, Becca says “the content was universally useful and the tutors were able to adapt it to the specific concerns of every student. I learnt how we could best use our content online, how to curate consumer journeys, how customers view web pages and how to do digital marketing with little to no budget.”
“Know your worth, and carve out your own path”.
Completing the courses boosted Becca’s confidence in her role in the sector. “They made me feel validated. Knowing I was doing things right already going into the course, and coming out with new knowledge, definitely diminished my publishing imposter syndrome somewhat and gave me the confidence to implement my strategies and ideas.”
Her advice for other young people in publishing? “Just keep your finger on the pulse of the industry and look for the chance to learn in everything. More and more publishers are opening offices outside London, and there are industry-adjacent opportunities everywhere. Know your worth, and carve out your own path, don’t feel like you need to be an editorial assistant before anything else”.
A large part of her job entails organising book events and launches, which Becca has had to adapt whilst working from home, conducting book clubs over Zoom and recording video content with authors for forthcoming publications.
“Take the opportunity Print Futures provides to get a head start”.
Much like Becca, Christopher Smith tells us the current situation has changed the way he does his day to day job. “A lot of our work was for the events sector, but we’re encouraging people to take the time to plan ahead and create campaigns for later in the year or even next year.”
Chris runs Vibrant Colour Print, a promotional merchandise print company offering products from business cards to pens. He received a Print Futures Award three years ago and used it for two training programmes. For Chris, the highlight of his training was credibility – “it gave me presence in the promotional merchandise industry where I now specialise, and backed up my knowledge on paper”.
“The award has had a huge impact on my career! I received the training just after I started my business, and since then I’ve taken on an employee and grown significantly.”
Chris’ advice for other young people in the industry? “Take the opportunity Print Futures provides to get a head start, go and talk to people in the industry, and learn from them as well as training – very few will say no if you approach with the right attitude. Print is an industry very keen to share”.