Do the math and you’ll realise the print orders of many of the newspapers and newsletters produced by Verlag und Druckerei Schlecht aren’t huge.
And with 24 titles to produce for about 37,000 households the Mühlacker, Germany, company was looking for a greener way to do it.
Now community papers, which reach 70,000 readers in 24 cities and towns in Baden-Wuerttemberg and Hessen, are printed digitally, faster, and ‘greener’ using a Screen inkjet web.
German publishing and printing house Schlecht has been printing local newspapers and small-town news bulletins for more than 60 years, and expects to do so for years to come. The growth of online news doesn’t seem to have affected this niche market of printed publications where communities share news about their football club, church and local politics.
The new Screen Truepress Jet 520HD is helping Schlecht serve this market more efficiently and sustainably, it says, the acquisition showing how digital printing is continuing its advance.
“The 520HD fits our requirement to deliver newspapers in small print runs, at short notice, every week,” says owner and director Oliver Merz. “It has exceeded our expectations.”
The digital press is faster, and because test runs are reduced, so is waste.
“The press even allows us to cut printing of already small print orders into yet smaller stages, creating a more even workflow. This means less paper use overall, and a much more efficient use of our resources.”
Eliminating makeready times also speeds production and improves workflows.
Perhaps surprisingly, the niche market of small local print media has persisted, despite the exponential growth of online and social media over the past few decades. Merz says local print bulletins are seen as a more convenient way than the internet to find information about events in one place. “One would typically have to drill down deeply online to find the same type of local content.
“Also, local print media plays an important role in forging social cohesion, as it contributes to strengthening a sense of community. Readers appreciate this.”
And almost by definition, the small circulations mean that they offer targeted advertising. Schlecht’s newspapers continue to attract small advertisers, such as local stores or country doctors. They also publish official information issued by city councils.
In addition to the 24 local newspapers – in full colour, and with typical print runs of about 3,000 copies – Schlecht also produces brochures, flyers, calendars and similar products.
Although circulations of local newspapers have been decreasing, Schlecht’s flexibility has helped it compensate by continuously gaining new clients, and Merz says with the new press, they’re well positioned for the future with options such as fine-tuning service-targeted audiences, and exploring personalised advertising.
Pictured: Oliver Merz and Silvia Schlecht