We’re talking often these days about the place of 3D printing in addressing the pandemic, but there are more nuances for the industry beyond manufacturing.
In an interview published yesterday, I caught up with the team at Italy-based 3D printer manufacturer 3ntr to get the team’s insights into these unique, uncertain times. The interview, as so many are, was facilitated through the agency that manages their marketing and communication activities. In 3ntr’s case, that’s Alterego Creative.
Alterego Creative’s Managing Director, Elena Palieri, included additional thoughts regarding these uncertain times from a perspective we often don’t hear from directly — communications.
3D Printing Communications
Too often, the communications and marketing teams that draw our media perspective together with the companies offering hardware, software, materials, and services can go pretty under the radar.
For the most part, that’s generally a good thing. Just as with what we do here, the point is to convey messaging, and that messaging comes from industry participants themselves. “Facilitate” is in so many ways the right word. Marketing teams and journalists are facilitating conversations.
But the people facilitating those conversations also necessarily listen to them and form opinions. Working as a tight-knit team together with the manufacturers to deliver appropriate messaging, it is necessary for marketing and communications personnel to deeply understand the content they’re working with.
That leads to an incredible wealth and depth of specialized knowledge.
Communications During COVID-19
In these times, that knowledge offers an important aspect — we should be listening to the communications teams to understand ourselves what works in terms of appropriate messaging.
Palieri explains it well:
“If I can add a personal opinion, on how the AM industry is moving in this moment of uncertainty I can tell you that, in the field of communication, there is a lot of noise.
Thanks to social media, today it is certainly easier to evaluate serious producers: they are the ones who silently carry out their operations and communicate only case histories and concrete, useful and certified contributions, they have different topics and do not ride the Covid wave to gain visibility.
Made in Italy additive manufacturing represents a great resource on a global level, not only in this particular and difficult situation, but must be carefully transmitted and communicated with messages aimed at educating the public, informing them about the concrete potential of this technology with useful tools and notions, and real examples (this defines the more serious companies) and not only with content created to collect likes (this unfortunately defines the less serious companies).”
A Lot Of Noise
Palieri points out stark realities in 3D printing these days: there’s a lot of noise, and it’s critical to evaluate serious versus attention-grabbing efforts.
It speaks highly of the integrity with which Palieri and her team are operating that she would want this so thoroughly underscored. Popular perception might indicate that old adage of “any publicity is good publicity” could be how marketing agencies operate, where the point is simply to grab those headlines and collect those social likes. But as we try our best to underscore every day in this publication, that simply won’t do.
There are very real ways that 3D printing is helping in the fight against viral spread and in the sprint to provide medical and personal protective equipment. There are also very real concerns that go along with the urge to just jump into 3D printing to help without a realistic focus of what can actually help, or, much worse, to do so simply for publicity.
It is critical now more than ever — literally, lives-depend-on-it critical — to appropriately break through the noise with measured communication.