Speaking about my job as a journalist, reactions are usually positive. However, when I mention that I write for the European Coatings Journal, faces often go blank in an instant and confusion sets in. "Paints and coatings? Are you writing about a different colour every issue?” Reactions like this are somewhat of a pity, I feel, as they show how little many people know about the paints and coatings industry. Admittedly, this was true for myself as well prior to starting work on the topic and now often ask myself how the visibility of the industry outside the sector could be improved?
Social media and open house
Especially considering the lack of skilled labour in the coatings industry, a greater visibility would be a great step. One good approach is the usage of social media to connect better to the public, especially for producers of do it yourself products. Austrian paint producer Adler Lacke for instance posts on their Facebook account about do it yourself projects. The same is true for their web shop which the company has established as a customer platform featuring articles and videos with tips, trends and much more – all to do with paints and coatings. This is not only a means to market products but also to demonstrate the scope of properties and variety of coatings products.
The German coatings and printing inks association (VdL) also highlights the importance of social media for more transparency in the coatings industry, which is among the association’s 2020 goals. Other tips of the VdL include open house days or working together with schools and clubs, for instance to organise open houses at the production plant.
How do you think could the visibility of the paints and coatings industry be improved? I would love to hear your ideas.
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