Production Managers and the Print Industry5/6/2011 2:05 PM By William Pirraglia
Regardless of industry, production managers have the identical core job description. However, the physical responsibilities of video, digital and print industry production managers will be noticeably different.
Even before the current state of flux, the print industry has had inconsistent definitions and responsibilities for production managers. Required to coordinate their efforts with marketing managers, professional copywriters and the print room operations, production managers face personality, strategy and hardware considerations.
The diminishing number of print publications, green efforts to minimize paper use, emerging digital publishing software and prepress organization issues demand that companies have talented production managers. A fervid commitment to become—and remain—organized may be the most important single prerequisite for production managers in the print industry.
In some organizations, the production manager is not even permitted to review and approve all print jobs. While this is hard to believe, it seems that some companies miss the obvious need for a production manager relationship with marketing and sales, along with full-time or freelance proofreaders, prior to print approval. Production managers also often face timing challenges without full control of prepress operations.
However, when skilled production managers are given appropriate authority, they will produce print materials of high quality and on time, as promised. Without the ability to perform re-takes of video or the opportunity to correct errors common to digital publications, print production managers must be more precise, detail oriented and organized than their video and digital namesakes.