Tag Archives: Mediascope

The Gold Wrapping Paper

22 Dec

In this season of love and giving, may we all remember the beautiful love of a small child. Have a meaningful and love-filled Christmas season and new year ahead. May your days be filled with love, joy, growth, and inspiration.

Merry Christmas from everyone at Mediascope!

 

Once upon a time, there was a man who worked very hard just to keep food on the table for his Gold Present 3
family. This particular year a few days before Christmas, he punished his little five-year-old daughter after learning that she had used up the family’s only roll of expensive gold wrapping paper.

As money was tight, he became even more upset when on Christmas Eve he saw that the child had used all of the expensive gold paper to decorate one shoebox she had put under the Christmas tree. He also was concerned about where she had gotten money to buy what was in the shoebox.

Nevertheless, the next morning the little girl, filled with excitement, brought the gift box to her father and said, “This is for you, Daddy!”

As he opened the box, the father was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, now regretting how he had punished her.

But when he opened the shoebox, he found it was empty and again his anger flared. “Don’t you know, young lady,” he said harshly, “when you give someone a present, there’s supposed to be something inside the package!”

The little girl looked up at him with sad tears rolling from her eyes and whispered: “Daddy, it’s not empty. I blew kisses into it until it was all full.”

The father was crushed. He fell on his knees and put his arms around his precious little girl. He begged her to forgive him for his unnecessary anger.

An accident took the life of the child only a short time later. It is told that the father kept this little gold box by his bed for all the years of his life. Whenever he was discouraged or faced difficult problems, he would open the box, take out an imaginary kiss, and remember the love of this beautiful child who had put it there.

In a very real sense, each of us has been given an invisible golden box filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, family, friends and God. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.

Thanksgiving Blessings

23 Nov

Today’s blog on Thankfulness is written by David Steinquist, owner of Mediascope for over seventeen years. David has been married for thirty-two years and is the father of three young men.


Happy Thanksgiving, all! I hope that this note finds you all in good health and joyfully reflecting on the year that has, once again, passed by way too fast.

As I write this, it feels like Fall has finally arrived here in Minnesota. We have had a great year for spending time outdoors. The summer was not too hot and the Fall has been mild and longer than normal. I happen to think that Fall is the best time of year to be outside. The colorful fall leaves and mild temperatures make for perfect walks in the woods or for simply enjoying the colors from a living room window.

As Thanksgiving approaches, I think we all spend a little time counting our blessings. AfterThankful all, isn’t that what the first celebrants did? The Pilgrims left Holland in August of 1620 and landed during the Fall in what is now Massachusetts. That first year was brutal for them and a large number of people did not survive. We can be thankful that for us, a brutal year might mean the stock market wasn’t quite what we had hoped it would be, or that we didn’t get a 4.0 in all of our classes. Or something else wasn’t quite up to the expectations we had set. After all, if you are reading this, you made it through the year, so you and I are one step ahead of the Pilgrims.

For me, it really is the simple things in life that I am thankful for. Some of those things are:

  • My family. I truly enjoy spending quality time with all of them. And as the boys get older, now we have fewer and fewer times when we can all get together.
  • I enjoy the challenges and triumphs that come from hard work. Sure, there are some days that I would rather be on vacation but vacation can only last for so long.
  • Living in the USA. Even with all of the turmoil that seems to have sprouted up this last year, I truly believe that as a nation, we are extremely blessed.
  • This nation also allows me to freely worship as I please. I am a Christian, but I appreciate the fact that folks who choose to worship in other ways, or not at all, have that right.
  • You, whoever you are, whether we have met at some point or not. For some reason, you were drawn to my idle ramblings, so I appreciate the fact that you took a few minutes out of your busy day to read my note.

Wherever you are and in whatever circumstances you find yourself in, I pray that you are able to reflect on the blessings you have. Enjoy life and plan for a wonderful 2016. Look positively on your circumstances and be a blessing to those around you.

Just a couple of closing observations, not even closely related to one another.

  • Did you know that George Washington, in 1789, declared Thanksgiving the first National holiday?
  • I can only think of one movie that had a Thanksgiving setting, and it is one of my favorites: Planes, Trains and Automobiles. I get the chuckles just thinking about it. Be a blessing to the Del Griffiths in your life.

Benefits of Corporate Volunteerism

15 Aug

While the first goal of any business is to make a product or provide a service in a way that maximizes profits, many companies also have a keen sense of corporate social responsibility. They believe in providing a positive contribution to the quality of life in the community where they do business and where their employees live.

The community in which we live greatly affects the quality of our everyday lives. A vibrant and attractive community which attracts and holds people is in everyone’s best interest. An active volunteer sector is essential to a healthy community. Since the well-being of business is linked to the health of communities, the corporate sector also has a stake in ensuring our communities are well served.

Feed My Starving Children

Mediascope team members help package food at a Feed My Starving Children event.

The benefits of corporate volunteerism are many: not only does volunteering provide employees with a way to make new professional or business contacts, it also allows them to:

  • increase their understanding of community needs and issues.
  • develop teamwork and leadership abilities.
  • balance their work and personal life by getting involved in something they care about.
  • find personal satisfaction and increased sense of self-worth.
  • learn new skills, broaden their experience, and develop their careers.
  • improve their mental and physical health.

Mediascope participates in a variety of volunteer opportunities. We provide a team of two people one day a week to help deliver lunches through a Home Delivered Meals program. We also participate in a program called Feed My Starving Children, where a team of co-workers help package a special blend of foods sent overseas. We have also helped build Habitat for Humanity homes and have participated in a community beautification program.

What types of volunteer opportunities does your company provide? Please feel free to go to our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mediascope-Inc/254554194575912 and let us know.

CMYK . . .RGB . . .Pantone Colors. What’s the big deal?

15 Sep
cmyk colors

CMYK Colors

The terms CMYK, RGB, and Pantone (or PMS) are often used during conversations about print. What do the terms mean and how do they impact you?

First of all, here is an explanation of what they mean:

CMYK

CMYK refers to the four ink colors used in process color printing: Cyan (a light blue), Magenta (a pinkish red), Yellow, and Black. In 4-color printing (process color), all of the colors you see are made up of combinations of dots in these four colors.

RGB

RGB stands for Red, Green, Blue. These are the colors you see when you look at images on your computer screen or at photos taken with your digital camera. The colors are made up of a combination of these three hues. In process color printing, these colors need to be converted to CMYK.

RGB Colors

Pantone

Pantone Colors refer to a color matching system (Pantone Matching System or PMS)  where inks are made into specific colors which are then printed in a color-matching swatch book. Some process colors are difficult to achieve through process printing (especially oranges and some greens), so using a pantone color ensures a perfect and consistent color match. Jobs can be printed on 5- or 6-color presses using the four process colors plus one or two spot (pantone) colors in order ensure an exact color match.

Important Differences to Know

It’s important to recognize one of the major differences between CMYK and RGB. CMYK colors work by “subtracting” or absorbing light reflected from a white piece of paper. With no ink on the paper, all of the light is reflected back to the eye and the paper appears white.

RGB colors, on the other hand, are additive colors. Your computer monitor is black and light is added to produce color. White is produced when all three colors are added at a density of 100%.

Due to the two different color standards,  colors will appear very different on your monitor than they will on paper after being printed. And too, no two monitors illustrate color exactly the same, which further complicates color design and printing.

Pantone Colors

Because what is seen on the monitor is not the same as the printed page, designers often use PMS colors as a standardized point of reference. Then, depending on whether the piece will be used on the web or as a printed piece, they convert the pantone colors to RGB or CMYK. For printed jobs with a color that needs to be an exact match, that color is kept as a pantone color and treated as a 5th color on press. This does, however, increase the price because of the extra plates, set-up time, and wash-up time. The need for an exact color match should be weighed against the extra cost.

So, to summarize, CMYK, RGB, and Pantone refer to three different types of color standards used in the design and printing industries. While it may sound confusing at first, it makes sense to those who work with it on a regular basis. Let your printer know if you have questions about the right way to use these color standards and they’ll be glad to help you.

Color Sells!

11 Aug

Color affects our perception, our thinking, and our actions. Two weeks ago, our blog, The Psychology of Color, talked about the meaning behind certain colors but did you know that just the use of color accounts for 60% of the acceptance or rejection of an object?Color Sells

Advantages of Color

When talking about printing, some people feel that the only advantage of color over black and white is that it captures one’s attention.  Studies have shown, however, that the use of color — any color — has other benefits. Statistics revealed during a recent learning seminar by Think Patented, a graphics communications company,  shows:

  • Color visuals increase willingness to read by up to 80%
  • Using color can increase motivation and participation by up to 80%
  • Color enhances learning and improves retention by more than 75%
  • Using color in advertising outsells black & white by 88%

Pretty impressive numbers, huh?

Color in Digital Printing

Technological improvements have not only improved color digital printing quality but have made color printing more affordable, even in smaller quantities. Color digital printing equipment is now available in configurations to fit almost any size or type of job, as long as the printing job lends itself to digital printing. (For more information on digital printing compared to offset printing, see our blog, Digital or Offset Printing.)  Some digital printing devices can now print five- or six- color jobs, and even print with white ink or apply a clear coating similar to a spot varnish in designated locations.

Next time you’re considering a print job, consider adding color to what may have traditionally been a black and white piece.  Not only is color more affordable than it used to be, the advantages of color printing are worth taking another look at. The statistics above tell us an important thing: color sells!

And We’re Back!

18 Apr

As you may have noticed, our blog has been on hiatus over the past few months.

Mediascope, Inc's new Canon C6010 Digital Press

Our New Press!

We’ve been hard at work! Since we last posted, Mediascope has made some huge additions to our services and abilities:

  • We’ve installed a brand new Canon ImagePress C6010 digital printing press, giving Mediascope the ability to handle short runs of premium quality color prints.  The digital press is integrated with leading-edge production software, and handles complex variable data printing with ease.
  • We’ve also made additions to our staff, hiring a full-time professional graphic design team.  These hires ensure that your next piece stands out from the rest.  Design samples are coming to the blog soon, and are available upon request now.
  • Mediascope has recently placed a sales rep in Texas!  This helps Mediascope to better serve our interstate customers, and we look forward to continued partnerships in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.

These are just a few of the improvements we’ve made recently, and now we’re back to blogging!  Come back every Friday for insights and tips on running a business in the modern era.

Giving Back

22 Sep

Mediascope believes in giving back! We are blessed in so many ways — the industry in which we serve, our relationships with each other and our customers, and the privilege of working in an area surrounded by the beautiful river and bluffs of Winona — that it seems only right to share and give back some of the riches we receive.

One of the ways we are able to give back is through professional and community volunteerism. We recently signed on to participate in a volunteer opportunity called Home Delivered Meals. As part of the Winona Volunteer Services program, a rotating team of two Mediascope staff members deliver lunch time meals one day a week to a list of clients in need of receiving a home-delivered meal. We have participated in other volunteer opportunities in the past, too, such as Habitat for Humanity.

We are also involved in many professional organizations, both within our community and our industry. Team members serve a variety of roles in various organizations such as Chamber of Commerce, Mail & Fulfillment Services Association, Printing Industry of Minnesota, Direct Marketers Association, Christian Bookseller’s Association, and the Society for Human Resource Management.

Our team members volunteer on a personal level for a number of organizations also, including the Rotary Club, Winona County Developmental Achievement Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters Advisory Council, Humane Society, Celebrate Recovery, and a Leadership Development Program with college men.

Investing in professional organizations and in our community is a great way to give back to those who have supported us over the years. We at Mediascope are glad for the opportunities to help others, just as we have been helped. It seems like the least we can do.

Mediascope, Winner of Prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility

18 Aug

We were recently featured on the front cover of the Mailing & Fulfillment Service Association’s (MFSA) monthly magazine, Postscript. We’re so pleased to receive this recognition that we just had to share it with you!  To see the article at it appeared in the magazine, go to our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Winona-MN/MEDIASCOPE/112253638817965. Thanks for sharing our excitement with us!   

Mediascope, Inc. of Winona, MN, a solutions provider which specializes in bringing marketing, print and bindery, direct mail, and fulfillment offerings to a variety of regional and national customers, was recently named a winner of the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility. This award distinguishes them as one of the top practitioners of workplace flexibility in the nation.   

With fewer than 30 employees, Mediascope is considered a small company by many standards, but it offers huge benefits to employees in terms of flexibility.   

“In addition to regular benefits such as health insurance, a matching retirement program, and paid holidays, as a small, tight-knit organization we are able to offer our employees the added benefits of flexibility in scheduling and providing input towards decisions,” said David Steinquist, owner and CEO of Mediascope.    

The Alfred P. Sloan Award is a prestigious national award. Started nationally in 2003 and in Winona in 2007, this collaborative effort recognizes employers across the country that are successfully using flexibility to meet both business and employee goals. Only 26 communities across the nation were selected to participate in this program in 2010.   

Applications for the award are evaluated in a two-step process that measures an employer’s workplace flexibility programs, policies and culture against national data from Families and Work Institute’s National Study of Employers.   

The first round consists of a survey completed by the employer. Employers that rank in the top 20% when compared to the national norms are selected as finalists. The final round involves a survey given to employees that will validate the employer’s responses to survey questions. The selection of winners is based on a score that combines employer and employee responses.   

Each year, applicants receive the results of their survey which includes a benchmark report of how they compare with other applicants and with nationally representative data for U.S. employers. This provides valuable information to employers to help them know where they stand and how they might improve in the future.   

(l to r) Nick Schmitz, David Steinquist, Patti Reick, and Eric Swan are shown with the 2010 Alfred P. Sloan Award.

 

As the only company to win the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility each of the four years the program has been offered in Winona, the award is particularly meaningful for Mediascope.    

“It is sometimes difficult to assess how our employees view us as an employer,” said Steinquist. “Since this award is largely based on employee responses to survey questions, receiving this award for four consecutive years tells us that our employees are both loyal and appreciative of what we are able to do for them.”   

As long as customers’ needs are met, Mediascope employees are given the opportunity to provide input towards work schedules. As a result, first shift production workers have chosen to work four nine-hour shifts and one four-hour shift each week while second shift has elected to work four 10-hour shifts. Employees have also agreed on break schedules to fit the needs of personal lifestyles.   

Office employees also have flexibility with their schedules as long as they ensure each area of specialty is covered at all times. Schedules for lunch and break periods are worked out between employees on a day-by-day basis.   

Stacy Zanzig, Mediascope’s Mail Services Specialist, said, “As an employee of Mediascope, I value the flexibility the company offers to me. I am able, within reason, to adjust my schedule based on workload and personal life. This allows me to be active in our community with volunteer organizations and gives me the opportunity to be a well-rounded person. As a result, this makes me a better employee because I am more willing to give 110% because I know I will get that in return when I have an outside commitment. The value that Mediascope places on a work/life balance is a tremendous benefit that you cannot put a price tag on.”   

One example of a valuable benefit Mediascope offers its employees is Paid Time Off (PTO). Rather than offering paid sick leave days (which would mean fewer paid vacation days each year), the company lumps the two benefits together into PTO which allows the employees to choose whether to use the time as sick leave or for other personal requests such as vacation or appointments.  Also, when the production schedule allows, employees are given the opportunity to take unpaid time off at their request. This is a popular choice for many people during the summer months or in the event of a family emergency.   

“I am a single parent of four children. When I started working at Mediascope in March of 2000, I had many non-work related situations to deal with since my children ranged in age from 3rd to 11th grades. It was made clear to me when I started that my employers were interested in the well-being of my family, as well as in my work. One of my first summers here, I asked if I could leave at noon so that I could spend more time with my children. The answer, without any hesitation, was ‘yes.’   I think one of the most meaningful things that happened to me here is my employer’s desire to place me in a position which suited my strengths. I have done many types of jobs here but when we found the right fit, I was placed in it and in a position of leadership. Mediascope still allows me last-minute requests to leave or shift my hours. I have never received a ‘no.’ My employers are also interested in what I think; they let me contribute more than just my hours. I can say with complete honesty that I love my job and want to give more whenever I can,” said Cathy Afman, the Fulfillment area lead co-worker.   

 “The award has helped our employees see the benefit of flexibility,” offered Steinquist. “In addition, we’ve seen an increase in the employees’ willingness to give us flexibility in return at times we need it, such as when a piece of equipment goes down and is waiting for repairs.”   

Mediascope began almost 12 years ago by serving customers in the areas of fulfillment and direct mail services. Since then, it has added a full range of customizable business solutions including digital print, social marketing, e-store design and hosting, email programs, and virtual office capabilities, along with other options also designed to help businesses compete in today’s world.

Right on Target at Mediascope!

4 Aug

If you look closely at our logo, you will see a bulls-eye behind the word Mediascope. You will also see our slogan is “Right on Target.”

What does “Right on Target” mean to you? To us at Mediascope, it means we aim to hit the bulls-eye with everything we do. We’re shooting for a perfect score every time.

Our slogan also means achieving excellence. Our goal is to provide winning solutions, top-level service, and quality finished products for you and your business. Take a look at our website at http://www.mediascopeinc.com  to see the services and solutions we provide.

There’s an old saying that claims if you are aiming for nothing, you will hit it every time. We set our sights higher than that. We aim to be the best.

Working Together to Achieve the Most Effective Solutions

7 Jul

Here at Mediascope, we have adopted this phrase to define how we do business.  We say it, we post it on our social media sites, and we print it on all of our pieces. But what does it mean?  To us, the key to the phrase is the word “together.”

“Together” has a couple of meanings for us. First of all, it is our goal to work together with you to arrive at the solutions which are right for you and for your business, your goals, and your budget. And, too, we want to create a lasting partnership with you based on mutual respect. We feel the best way to do that is to get to know your business and work together with you to develop and implement the right strategies for your continued growth.

Second of all, we realize that we do our best work by working together as a team at Mediascope. Our biggest asset is our people and we understand and appreciate that fact. We have all heard the phrase “There is no ‘I’ in Team.” Here at Mediascope, we take that to heart and firmly believe in sharing our knowledge and strengths with one another.

Working Together to Achieve the Most Effective Solutions. We don’t just say it, we mean it!