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Guide to Port Entry - innovation in print

Guide to Port Entry IS Innovation of the Year 2013

Guide to Port Entry IS Innovation of the Year 2013

I have been meaning to blog more often and really haven't managed it. Good intentions and all that. But today I have a 'real' reason to blog so here goes. Last night at the PPA Digital Publishing Awards, our flagship publication Guide to Port Entry won the Innovation of the Year Award for 2013. Amid all the apps and websites and datafeeds of the UK digital publishing industry, a book was the most innovative entry. Sounds slightly mad, doesn't it?

But it's well deserved. The Guide has always been innovative, since our founder Colin Pielow put together the first edition from scraps of notes about ports he had been collecting. Back in 1971, no one was sure there would be a demand for a such a book, but Colin's hunch proved correct. The 2nd Edition in 1973 added port plans and in 1975, the 3rd contained detailed information about Soviet-era Russian ports, the first western publication to do so.

Over the years, we at Shipping Guides have further expanded the Guide, adding hundreds of new ports and terminals to each subsequent edition, and broadening the scope of the information published. The shipping industry has recognised the quality and depth of the data by continuing to buy each new edition as it appears on the shelves.

And in mid-June 2012, as we prepared to put the 2013-2014 edition into production, we made a decision which has proved that there is still life in print media, despite the gloom and doom that has been spread by so called experts. We created thousands of QRCodes linked to our findaport.com digital platform and added one to each port in Guide to Port Entry. And by doing so, we enabled every reader of our flagship book to have immediate access to the latest information we hold about any port of their choice, just by scanning a QRCode on their phone.

QRCode to link to findaport.com

QRCode scanners are available for most modern mobile phones, free of charge in most cases. They are simple and easy to use. QRCodes can have a variety of information embedded within them including website links, emails, contact details, and more. More importantly, they are a proven technology and they work.

By embedding QRCodes in each port entry, we have given new life to a vintage edition. In this 21st century, our best selling book can continue to be used as a top quality reference source without the fear of being somehow dated. The latest information is always just a quick scan away.

And last evening, the UK publishing industry agreed with us. They named Guide to Port Entry - QRCodes as the 2013 PPA Digital Innovation of the Year at a packed dinner and awards ceremony in the City of London. And I was proud to accept the award. It's been 40+ years in the making but the old girl deserves the recognition.