Q: We use a PC to print labels for our mailshots, but it takes a long
time to attach them to envelopes. Is there a machine that will do this
A: It can take around 25 minutes to hand label 200 envelopes, even
longer if you want to make sure they go on straight.
SECAP Technologies markets a device that will do the job in under two
minutes. Alternatively, it has a machine that connects to your computer
and prints directly onto envelopes at speeds of up to 12,000 items per
There is a range of products under the name Accufast XL, with prices
starting at around £4300. Call 020 8831 2200; www.secapuk.com.
Q: We want to print up some plastic cards that advertise our service and
offer discounts to regular customers. How much would this cost?
A: Plastic cards cost anything from 10p to £1.50 to manufacture,
depending on the volume and the use of any complex graphics such as
The more expensive ones could also include security features such as
magnetic stripes and a signature panel, which are used for loyalty
For a fairly straightforward advertising card in a quantity of 2000,
Company Cards quotes around £570. It will do smaller runs down to
200, but the unit cost would go up significantly.
Company Cards' clients range from McDonald's and Harrods to local
bakeries and cab companies. Turnaround time is seven days. Call 01744
850872; or try Cardentity, 0121 427 3591; CSL 01256 372231; Mids &
Horsey 01730 235700; Nitecrest, 01772 431888.
Q: We want to build a higher profile in the press, but our budget
doesn't allow for us to employ a PR agency. Are there any courses that
could enable us to acquire the skills in-house?
A: Big Fish Training offers specialist PR workshops to get you started.
These are hands-on courses which show you how to write a press release
and handle media interviews. They tell you about the main dos and
don'ts, and provide information about how to use the web for public
Each course has a journalist on hand to help delegates practise new
skills and to give feedback. The sessions are £395 and advanced
workshops are also available. The next course is on December 11 to 12.
For more details call 0709 235 7232, or visit
If you just want to learn about copywriting, a regular two-day workshop
is run at regular intervals by the Publishing Training Centre in
This costs £570. It also has a distance learning course which can
be completed over four to six months, and costs £375. Call 020
8874 2718; www.train4publishing.co.uk.
The Chartered Institute of Marketing runs copywriting courses in London,
Birmingham and Manchester for £395: 01628 427200;
Finally, Media Training Master classes offers bespoke training in
aspects of media presentation, including writing press releases and
promotional materials. It will also teach your staff how to write basic
news or feature articles for the press, with the emphasis on getting
them to complete realistic tasks. Call 01386 420287.
Q: I'm looking for someone to supply some interesting pencils for a
A: CN Promotions can supply a variety of 'novelty and funfair' pencils,
for instance decorated with foil or cartoon drawings. These come in
packs: for prices call 01509 235550; www.cn-promotions.co.uk.
Novelties Galore offers a fancy pencil with an eraser for about 10p
each, minimum quantity 1000. Branding starts at around 12p to 13p for
one- or two-colour print, depending on the product. It also has a
four-colour pencil popular with children: this costs 27p branded.
You can also get pencils that look like bamboo or a twig, and there are
jumbo pencils around 30cm long and three times the normal width. Call
020 8424 9966; www.noveltiesgalore.com.
E-mail enquiries should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.