Small Businesses Need a Partner, Not Just a Bank

Posted by on 9:40 am in Blog, Uncategorized | Comments Off

Small Businesses Need a Partner, Not Just a Bank

















by Charles Kelley
Vice President – Business Development
Perfect Image


Community banks know better than most that small businesses are the foundation of any community. You know their value from an economic standpoint, from a jobs outlook, and from your own customer and business perspective. You can also identify because in your Georgia community, you are one of them.

Frank Sorrentino, chairman and CEO of one of the best performing community banks in the nation, recently contributed an article to Forbes that I believe every community bank executive and marketer should read. His post, Small Businesses Need A Partner, Not Just A Bank, encourages community banks to consider how you can help more small businesses thrive and grow in the face of the challenges they are confronting today.

“Small businesses look to their banks to be a partner and an advisor, not just a bank, in hopes of using that advice to increase their success. In this relationship, everybody wins—from small businesses to banks and entire communities.”

– Frank Sorrentino

I submit that just as small businesses need a partner, not just a bank – community banks also need a partner, not just a printer.

As a former bank officer now leading business development at Perfect Image, a commercial print communications provider in Marietta, I can attest to the wisdom of Sorrentino’s words. Serving metro Atlanta and the Southeast since 1980, Perfect Image has risen above seismic attrition in the U.S. printing industry as a direct result of our commitment to partnership with our clients and community.


If you need a marketing support partner who understands how to leverage print marketing in a competitive digital age, contact me today. We are More than a printer.

4 Reasons Print Is Still Valuable to Small Businesses

Posted by on 8:51 am in Blog, Uncategorized | 167 comments

4 Reasons Print Is Still Valuable to Small Businesses

charles-by-line-photoby Charles Kelley, Vice President – Business Development, Perfect Image

As a 40-year veteran of the commercial printing industry, I’m more excited about and committed to this evolving craft than I have ever been. So are my clients. Why? Because print delivers marketing and sales results for small and mid-sized businesses that digital communications cannot achieve alone.

Here are some important reasons to use print:

1. Projecting a deeper commitment

Printed materials create more favorable and trustworthy impressions than emails or online communications. These days, when a business invests time and expense to prepare and mail a personalized letter or marketing piece, people perceive that business as more likely to handle business and customers in the same thoughtful and committed manner.

2. Going against the tide

The digital age continues to make people wonder, “Is print alive or dead?” I assure you that print is moving ahead at full throttle. Smart businesses are moving against the digital tide by using print to stand out in a crowded sea of marketers. No one notices a single fish among hundreds swimming in the same direction, but you can bet all eyes are trained on the one gliding upstream.

3. Making tangible connections

People across demographics love paper – the touch, feel and even the smell of it. This includes the tactile feel of nicely printed business cards, letters, brochures and direct mail printed on high quality stock. Bumping cell phones to exchange contact information is quick, but the effect and result are nowhere near that of exchanging business cards. Last week, after an engaging business conversation with a bright Millennial, I handed him my card. His response: “I don’t carry business cards but after seeing and feeling yours, I think I’ll contact you to produce some for me.”

4. Keeping it close to the vest

When was the last time you heard of a printed letter, direct mail piece, flyer, brochure or annual report being hacked? ‘Nuff said!

Not convinced? Here are four more reasons print is valuable to small businesses.


If you need More than a printer – a marketing support partner who truly understands smart print marketing in a digital age, contact Perfect Image today.

What basketball’s most vicious move teaches our clients

Posted by on 3:09 pm in Blog, Uncategorized | 85 comments

What basketball’s most vicious move teaches our clients

by Ira Jackson



As I watched the NBA Finals, I wondered what our clients in education, nonprofit and the small to mid-sized business market can learn from the sport’s finest players. Most certainly, it’s the crossover. You can see it in action here.

The crossover is a deadly ball-handling technique tailor-made for smaller players to leverage every advantage against larger opponents. Players change direction on a dime to create space for wide-open shots. They aptly call it breaking ankles, and with moves like this, anyone can compete on par in a tall person’s game.

Like these players, our clients have to be twice as creative and agile to compete with larger entities. Do you face formidable competition? Operate with under-resourced departments? Have a limited budget? The crossover shows how there’s always a way to get a leg up on the competition.

Perfect Image is the printer who can keep up with your talented footwork. Put us on your marketing support team and let’s make some killer moves together.

Sure Signs That You Need a More Brand-Conscious Printer

Posted by on 10:35 am in Uncategorized | 118 comments

Sure Signs That You Need a More Brand-Conscious Printer

Banner and thumbnail image

In 2007 there were 35,000 commercial printers in the United States. Today there are about 26,000. What happened? General consensus points to technology as the print industry’s main disruptor. Economic shifts also played a role, as did a wave of consolidations, with large conglomerates acquiring smaller, locally based printers.

But did those influences knock 25 percent of the industry out of business? Not entirely. There has been far more at work.

If you print, you need to know
At the onset of the technology-driven new normal, many marketers rushed to all-things-digital amid shouts that “print is dead.” At the same time, marketers were under pressure to generate higher returns on investment. Finding no silver bullet in single-channel communications, whether that channel was digital, print or otherwise, savvy marketers began scrutinizing the right mix and demanding more from every channel.

Many printers, heeding the call to the future, invested in digital technologies by automating pre-press and pressroom functions, and ensuring that quality control would remain the axis of operations. But this wasn’t enough. To stay relevant, they needed new business models. Those that transformed into marketing support partners and fellow brand stewards for their clients became the industry’s future. Any less of a commitment from a printer results in an underserved client, and these printers continue to fall away.

How do you know if a printer cares about your brand?
If your printer focuses only on the specifications for your project – what size, how many colors, quantity and when it’s due – you’re being underserved. Of course those questions are critical, for they enable your printer to give an estimate, produce your project and deliver…and hopefully on time. But if that’s all they’re asking, how does that improve your ROI or enhance your brand? In two words, it doesn’t.

These questions are equally important for your printer to ask
1. Why are you printing this piece?
2. Who is your audience?
3. What are you trying to accomplish?
4. Have you implemented this project before?
5. How do you measure effectiveness?
6. How many targeted recipients are actively engaged in your mission?
7. Who are your competitors?
8. What are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?
9. Are there ways we can assist you beyond the printed piece?
10. Do your campaigns integrate print with email and online communications? If so, how do the results compare to your single channel efforts?

If your printer dives deep and challenges you to think about how you’re spending valuable marketing dollars to achieve desired results, they’re not just thinking about your print job. They’re thinking about your mission, your brand and your success – and they’re doing it with a hard-won understanding of effective channel integration.

A printer should help generate more responses and drive more applicants, conversions, contributions, sales, donors or volunteers to your doorstep. Otherwise, why print?

A printer that cares about your brand puts their shoulder into your plow

Shoulder into your plow image
Today’s best print partners are equal parts production-centric, client-centric and market-centric, helping you to become more proficient in using the mix of marketing channels that works best for your organization.

At Perfect Image, we understand what it takes to build, maintain and protect a successful brand and the fundamental role print plays in that process.

Contact us today if you need a partner that values your knowledge, experience and passion in making your organization – not just your print – extraordinary. We are More than a printer.

What does good marketing sound like?

Posted by on 9:18 am in Uncategorized | 128 comments

What does good marketing sound like?

by Ira Jackson

Good Vibrations 1

I recently heard a fascinating NPR segment on insect communication. It got me thinking about what all of us in marketing and development try to do: Send out the right vibrations at the right frequency. Not surprisingly, Mother Nature has some great insights for us.

Just like our insect friends in this segment, our human constituents are instinctively good at recognizing the exact things they’re looking for. Insects are discerning in their communication, and for good reason: If they get it wrong, they’re toast. Sound familiar? As marketers, our survival also depends on sending out the encoded messages our constituents need to hear. When we do that, nature tells us they will respond.

At Perfect Image, we’ve been helping clients tap into the right frequencies for more than three decades. In education, the nonprofit sector and the small business arena, we help clients hear what this segment makes clear: You don’t have to weigh a ton to rumble.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did…

Good Vibrations Key to Insect Communication

High-Energy Marketing for Small to Mid-Size Businesses

Posted by on 9:47 am in Uncategorized | 167 comments

High-Energy Marketing for Small to Mid-Size Businesses

Energize Small Business

Fresh ideas inspire new customers and keep existing customers engaged, and this article is devoted to just that. As a trusted commercial printing partner for Atlanta’s business community, Perfect Image is committed to helping our neighboring small to mid-sized businesses drive conversions and repeat business.

Perfect Image helps clients use limited marketing dollars to make the strongest impact in a number of ways. One way we do it is by providing highly relevant ideas, trends and resources that are helping organizations energize their communications. We hope some of these tactics will spark your interest and lead to growth.

1. Small Marketing Budget? Use In-House Experts to Get Huge Results
At Perfect Image, every client we work with has a powerhouse of talent that can be wielded into a sharp marketing edge. This article will help you look within to uncover unique opportunities and cultivate persuasive external communications.

2. Success Story: How Personal Customer Service Grew This Business
The first line of this post asks if customer service matters more than price. We think the answer is a resounding yes – and that exemplary service is the most effective marketing tool you can use. Check the list to make sure you’ve got it down.

3. What is Brand Storytelling?
Whether you serve the business or consumer market, or both, here are some exacting recommendations for getting your story out there – and having it result in successful conversions and customer relationships.

4. Four Ways (and Best Practices) to Reach Customers
These are tried, true and straightforward methods every business should have in their communications arsenal.

5. The power of print always motivates people to act
These 99 tips from the Perfect Image team are proven in making direct mail perform.
Learn about Perfect Image’s advanced print and marketing support solutions for today’s small to mid-sized businesses.


A True Marketing Support Partner

“Perfect is an understatement for Perfect Image Printing. The company provides amazingly beautiful printing services for almost any need – hence the name Perfect Image. However, it’s their customer service that truly sets Perfect Image Printing apart from others. The staff is very knowledgeable and extremely great to work with. They take the time to learn your company and its needs. Everyone works passionately to ensure customers are 100 percent satisfied with their service. It’s a comforting feeling to know you’re working with a reliable company that takes as much pride in your company and your projects just as you do.”

Nicole Hill
Marketing Coordinator

Get People Moving for Your Nonprofit Mission

Posted by on 8:35 am in Uncategorized | 102 comments

Get People Moving for Your Nonprofit Mission

Energize Nonprofit

If your current fundraising and volunteer programs are like their counterparts around the country, you probably keep your programs under constant scrutiny. Are they working today? Will they work tomorrow? We all operate in an information-heavy and competitive environment. Loyalties change overnight. That’s why it takes something special and refreshing to inspire audiences and keep them engaged.

This article is devoted to that purpose, specifically for nonprofits. We hope the ideas and methods inspire you. As Atlanta’s leading printer for nonprofits, Perfect Image understands your needs and wants to help you use your marketing dollars to make the strongest appeal. Here are a few exciting ideas, trends and resources we believe are highly relevant to your mission:

  1. 5 Ways to Attract Young People to Your Nonprofit

Today’s nonprofits are fortunate to have the devotion, interest, time and contributions of The Next Great Generation – the Millennial Generation. These young men and women are deeply committed to making a difference in the world, and they’re looking for ways and places to volunteer. This article offers ideas on how to attract them.

  1. 3 Tips for Inspiring Nonprofit Supporters Through Storytelling

We think this article has the power to make every nonprofit stop, think and tell their story in a whole new way. Telling stories will always be one of the most effective methods to educate and inspire. We encourage you to “Start a Conversation That Matters” and see what it can do for your mission.

  1. 13 Ways to Use Stories to Raise More Money

We are intrigued by the great concept of storytelling so we dug deeper into how telling stories can specifically affect increased giving. This article by a highly accomplished nonprofit consultant offers specific tactics you can start using today.

  1. Five Elements of Perfect Nonprofit Landing Pages

More and more nonprofits are using multichannel strategies to raise money. One critical component is the online ‘landing page’ where organizations lead their audiences, using e-mail, direct mail and social media to get them there. Perfect Image builds, manages and provides analytics for multichannel campaigns for nonprofits, and we agree with many of this article’s insights.

  1. The power of print always motivates people to act

These 99 tips from the Perfect Image team are proven in making direct mail perform.

Learn about Perfect Image’s advanced print and marketing support solutions for today’s nonprofits.


A True Marketing Support Partner

“Everyone who engaged in our recent branding exercise, which was conducted by Perfect Image, said it was a wonderful exercise. All who saw the end result were impressed. One hundred percent spot on.”

Steve McDavid
Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation


“Working with Perfect Image is a true partnership. Ira and his team always go above and beyond to deliver the best quality and value. Perfect Image helps us clearly and effectively communicate with our constituents.”

Caitlin Smyke Epstein, MPA
Development Officer
Posse Atlanta

More and Better Ways to Energize Your School’s Constituents

Posted by on 9:36 am in Blog, Print, Print Marketing | 115 comments

More and Better Ways to Energize Your School’s Constituents

Image for Education Blog Article

Your school has a rock solid mission, a trusted commitment and a respected brand. What strategies do you use to motivate alumni and benefactors to respond to your calling? If your development, marketing and communications programs are like their counterparts around the country, they are under constant scrutiny. Are they working in today’s information-heavy and competitive environment?

The marketing communications landscape is changing for today’s schools

As the most progressive and trusted printer for educational institutions in the Southeast for more than 30 years, Perfect Image understands your marketing opportunities and challenges. We are immersed in the communications strategies, ideas and technologies that schools are using today, very effectively, to move their constituents to act.

We’d like to share a few ideas, trends and resources we believe are relevant for our educational clients and every institution of learning:

1. How technology has changed the way schools engage alumni
When we got to the part about not being afraid to ‘rock the boat,’ we knew this was a must-read for others. We learned over a decade ago that we had better be More than a printer in this digital age. That meant throwing off the old-school manufacturing mindset and placing ourselves squarely in the shoes of our clients and their market realities. Not afraid to rock the boat, we started focusing on how technology can help schools nurture their relationships with graduates. That is real talk, and it confirms the importance of our own multichannel marketing capabilities for today’s schools.

2. Key recommendations for attracting charitable contributions to your school
The horizon is promising for fundraising. Dive through the good news and get to the recommendations for attracting higher giving.

3. The guiding principles in this 2013 report still ring loud and true
Don’t be dissuaded by the age of this report. We see these 12 guiding principles of alumni relations every day, and how they continue to stand the test of time.

4. Some best practices, ideas and news that relate to alumni engagement
This is a refreshing and informative blog dedicated to alumni relations. You’ll find interesting news stories and trends that might spark ideas for your school.

5. The power of print always motivates people to act
These 99 tips from the Perfect Image team are proven in making direct mail perform.

Learn about Perfect Image’s advanced print and marketing support solutions for today’s schools.


Nothing beats authenticity in marketing

The best marketing communications ideas will complement your mission, like they do for a college prep school that serves students around the world. To welcome newly accepted students and their families, the school staged an event complete with a passport and foods from every country represented in the student body.

“We went for authenticity,” said Wendy Sheats, the school’s director of Marketing Communications. “The passport is particularly symbolic as we serve students worldwide. With the nuances of an actual passport, the booklet gave families an official school document entitling them to take this journey to their new home. Perfect Image partners with me to bring strategy to how we print, and that the way a piece is printed carries our message through paper recommendations, weight, lithographic printing vs. digital printing, and more. It was an exciting and successful event that really gave our new families a taste of our school. It let our culture shine through.”

This Is Who We Are. A Concierge for 5-Star Print and Marketing Solutions.

Posted by on 1:29 pm in Blog, Print, Print Marketing, Uncategorized | 121 comments

This Is Who We Are.          A Concierge for 5-Star Print and Marketing Solutions.

ira's concierge picture

Ira Jackson, president of Perfect Image in Atlanta, tells clients to print for these reasons: Inspire, raise eyebrows, move people to act and drive your brand. Otherwise, why print?  Perfect Image steps beyond traditional print services by helping educational institutions, nonprofit organizations and small/mid-sized businesses move that needle.

“We understand your resources and budgets are not the same as larger organizations,” says Jackson. “Perfect Image caters to your current, real world needs. Your opportunities and challenges are distinctive so you need More than a printer.”

What’s in it for you at Perfect Image?


Our 5-Star Concierge Approach to Your Needs


  • Strategic Consultation

We care about your big picture. After more than 30 years in serving some of the nation’s biggest brands, we know how to help you get more from print. It’s about helping you spend what you have in ways that build return on your full marketing communications investment.

  • Strategic Planning

We measure twice and cut once. Our intake at the start of your project, followed by a detailed project brief, ensures we’re on target prior to initiation and results in the most effective print or multi-channel communications.

  • Marketing Support Partner

Print doesn’t stand alone in your marketing mix. Perfect Image has the systems in place to complement your multi-channel communications requirements. We’re a one-stop shop that blends and manages your print and electronic/online communications outreach.

  • Personalized Service and Support

A true marketing partner is on full alert. We’re your second set of eyes. We support your organizational dynamics, stay accessible and attentive, keep our finger on the pulse of your jobs, provide regular updates unasked and make door-to-door deliveries on time.

  • Creative Resources

Top talent drives higher ROI. Perfect Image provides access to great designers, graphic artists, developers, photographers and writers when you need creative resources.

Learn more about our full scope of capabilities for today’s marketers.


“Customer service is always responsive and efficient, and able to adapt to our needs. Perfect Image’s ability to meet deadlines without compromising quality also sets them apart from other printing companies we have worked with.”

Wendy Nadeau
Meharry Medical College

How Rhodes College Shaped Ira Jackson

Posted by on 2:40 pm in Blog, Featured, Print, Print Marketing, Uncategorized | 809 comments

How Rhodes College Shaped Ira Jackson

For the last 24 years, Ira Jackson has owned and operated Perfect Image, a progressive commercial printing company in Atlanta. Not only has Jackson’s industry seen epic technological shifts, but so, too, has Jackson shifted through dramatic cultural times and changes. Peek into his world view in Rhodes Magazine: