Burns Mailing & Printing, Inc. Paused From Our Work Today

October 6, 2017

As fall has arrived and it will start getting colder, I decided that we need to have one last cook out at work today.  We grilled hot dogs, had all the fixings to go with it and sat down as one company. I wanted it as an opportunity to thank my great team at Burns for all their hard work.  I have a team that works hard, appreciates our customers, knows the importance of getting our jobs out and giving quality work to our customers. Fall is our busiest season but we paused today to celebrate together as one team.

If you want to experience working with our great team at Burns Mailing & Printing, give me a call at 865 584-2265 or email me Phyllis Burns at phyllis@burnsmp.com.

Wishing all of you a Happy Fall.


Our Graphic Design Department Does More Than Just Design

August 11, 2017

Since Burns Mailing & Printing, Inc. operates three businesses in one, our graphic designers wear many hats.  Yes, they are very creative and design, logos, brochures, catalogs, calendars, presentation folders and much more, but they also are well versed in United States Postal specifications, and the many nuances of mailing.  They must insure that the mailing panel meets postal specifications for post cards, catalogs and flyers.  The mailing panel must be correct or it can cost the customer more money in postage or the direct mail piece may not be mailable at all. If we are just mailing for a customer, we like to check the mailing panel before it is printed to insure that the customer gets the lowest postage possible.

Another thing that most people don’t know is that our design department actually programs several pieces of equipment that we use for production.  The first piece of equipment is our digital press. The files are sent to the digital press ready to print from the graphics department.  For variable data that is printing at the same time as the direct mail piece, the mailing list is sent to graphics and they run the file through software called Print Shop Mail.  This allows the digital press to print, front and back and address for mailing…all on one pass of the digital press.  Cool huh? The second piece of equipment that they program is our computer to plate system.  The files are send to the plate maker and our production team pulls up the file and makes the plates that go on to our offset presses.  The computer to plate system has enabled us to make plates in 10 minutes and this is a great improvement over 1 1/2 hours before we had the computer to plate system. The third piece of equipment is our paper cutter.  The jobs go through our plant by job ticket numbers.  The bindery simply pulls up the job ticket number and the paper cutter is programmed for each particular job.

Want to try our one-stop convenience for graphic design, printing (digital and offset) and our direct mail services?  Call me at 865 584-2265 or email me at phyllis@burnsmp.com.

Direct Mail Is Still The Preferred Way Of Contacting Your Clients, Customers Or Donors.

August 10, 2017

Direct mail is still the most trusted form of contacting people.  Mail can be read at their  convenience and saved for a later date, if it is something of interest to the recipient.  It is not as intrusive as emails and does not go into spam filters. Everyone loves getting mail, make your next contract with your clients, customers and donors by direct mail.

At Burns Mailing & Printing Inc., our experienced staff can take your project from the concept to the mailbox.  Call me at 865 584-2265 or email me at phyllis@burnsmp.com.

Richard Bean, And How I Got To Know Him

May 11, 2017

Back in 1999, we bought a $250,000 press and the Knoxville News Sentinel did a story on me and my late husband Ken Burns.  The story was about how we started the business in the garage and the progress that we had made in building the business and about our working together so successfully.  At that time Ken and I went out to lunch, most days as that was our time to catch up on what was going on in the business and to just be together.  One day we were at one of our lunch spots and Richard Bean comes up and ask if we were the couple in the Knoxville News Sentinel’s article.  We told him that we were and he introduced himself.  We knew his name because Richard is in charge of the Richard L. Bean Juvenile Detention Center.  We were both amazed that he remembered the article and recognized us. It seems that Richard went to a lot of the spots that we ate lunch, so we would see him often.  One of his favorites is Wright’s Cafeteria. I still see him at Wright’s Cafeteria, when I occasionally go out to eat.

Richard sends me emails from time to time and most of them are funny, but the one he sent me recently was very inspiring.  It was about the World War II cartoonist Bill Mauldin.  Sgt. Bill Mauldin was a soldier who was in the trenches with the rest of the guys in World War II.  He drew what he saw and most of it was not very pretty. He never held back even when General George S. Patton informed Mauldin he wanted the pointed cartoons celebrating the fighting men and making fun of the high-ranking officers to stop and stop NOW!  However, five-star General, Dwight D. Eisenhower, SCAFE, Supreme Commander of the allied forces in Europe had the last work. “Mauldin draws what Mauldin wants.” Mauldin won and Patton lost.  At 23, Mauldin won the Pulitzer Prize and was on the cover of Time magazine. He won a second Pulitzer Prize later and when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, he drew a picture of the statue at the Lincoln Memorial, slumped in grief, its head cradled in its hands. According to all accounts he never lost that humble personality and considered himself just one of the enlisted men.

Thank you Richard for this inspiring article.

What Does It Mean To Be A Certified Women Business Enterprise (WBE)?

April 18, 2017

The first thing that it means is that it requires a lot of work to be certified by the state of TN.  Lots and lots of paperwork and an onsite visit by the Office of Diversity to inspect your corporate books and answering a lots of questions.  Does it mean that you are automatically going to be business because of WBE status.  Not at all, you still have to work at selling, estimating and when you do receive a contract, it means giving a quality product and great customer service. It also means that you will be listed on the Governor’s Diversity list of vendors, so that when companies are looking for a certified WBE company, it will be easy to find.  My second biggest customer found me on the Governor’s Diversity list and we have been printing for them for years. Is it worth all the work?  I think it is and I am working on getting certified in other states.

Burns Mailing & Printing, Inc. is a 100% women owned business located in Knoxville.  We offer graphic design, with three designers on staff, both digital and offset printing, and direct mail services, including high speed matching inserting, list acquisition, high speed addressing and much more.

Phyllis Burns – phyllis@burnsmp.com

865 584-2265



Bad Planning When Using Direct Mail Can Be Costly

March 28, 2017

I have often said that we are professionals who know graphic design, printing and direct mail, however, we don’t always get to advise and plan with our customers.  Sometimes  a project appears on our dock and we are left to figure out if it can be mailed and how to get the lowest postage.  We have seen a brochure that has already been printed with no addressing area left on the brochure.  We ended up putting that one in an envelope.  We have seen coating applied to the addressing area and our inkjet ink will not stick to a coating so we ended up putting a label on that direct mail piece.  We have seen the direct mail piece folded wrong, requiring tabs to go through the USPS machinery.   Does this sound costly to our customer?  You know that it is, and is unnecessary, because with a little planning in advance it could all have been avoided.  If our mailing customer is not printing with us, we will still advise them on the most cost effective way to design and what not to do, when printing.  We will even supply them with templates to make sure enough room is left for addressing.  This insures that they will meet all postal regulations and have the lowest postage when we present the mailing at the post office. Consulting with our customers is a FREE service at Burns Mailing & Printing, Inc.

Of course, we would like to do the entire project starting with planning, graphic design, printing and direct mail services.  A lot of my customers want me to help them with lists, I have if fact, helped four customers this morning with working out their lists.  The list is probably the most important aspect of direct mail because if the list is not directed to the desired market, all other components of the mailing are a waste of time and money.

Let the professionals at Burns Mailing & Printing, Inc. help with your next direct mail project. phyllis@burnsmp.com or call 865 584-2265.



Do You Get Excited About New Business Opportunities?

March 14, 2017

I have been in the printing and mailing business for 27 years and I have chased many opportunities.  Some have come to fruition and some have been a bust.  With a little luck and a lot of hard work, we went into the mailing and graphic design business 26 years ago.  We did not know that much about mailing but with the help of Tony Maples and Shelia Kerton at the USPS bulk mail unit, we got really good at direct mail and we now have three talented graphic designers on staff as well.  This combination of printing (both digital and offset), along with graphic design and direct mail makes Burns a true one-stop for direct mail.

Getting back to opportunities, some times they come out of the blue, in a phone call, like yesterday.  It was a company that I have worked for in the past and they now have needs that my company can provide them.  I still get excited at the prospect of a new project.  That is why reputation is so important to me and why I want customers who have new opportunities to think of Burns Mailing & Printing, Inc. first.


Phyllis Robinette Burns