The Stationers' Company is City of London Livery Company for the Communications and Content Industries
The majority of our members work in, or supply, the paper, print, publishing, packaging, office products, newspaper, broadcasting and online media industries.
A full list of the sectors that make up these industries can be found here.
However in broad terms they include paper, print, publishing, packaging, office products, newspapers, broadcasting and online media.
90% of our members work in, or supply, these industry sectors.
Peter Day, BBC global business correspondent and a member of the Company (seen here interviewing Kate Wilson of Nosy Crow at the 2014 Innovation Excellence Awards) said recently: “the Stationers’ Company is more relevant today than it was at the time of Caxton”.
It is because of, and not despite, its 600-year history that the Company remains determined to continue to adapt to the ever-increasing pace of change in the media industry.
What is a Livery Company?
- Livery Companies were first created by groups of medieval tradesmen who joined together to promote, protect and regulate their trades
- There are 110 livery companies in London, each representing a discrete profession or trade
- The Stationers’ Company is unique for a 600-year-old company in that over 90% of our members are actively involved in our industries
- Charitable giving, to education in particular, is a very strong element of the work of all livery companies
- Our charitable activities are focused on education that connects young people with our industries
- 600 years ago most craftsmen in London were itinerant. However the manuscript writers and illuminators decided to concentrate their efforts and set up stalls or ‘stations’ around St Paul’s Cathedral. Because of this they were given the nickname ‘Stationers’ and this was the obvious choice of name for the guild they established in 1403
- When printing came to England in the late 15th century, the Stationers had the good sense to embrace it and we have continued to adapt to the many changes in the Communications and Content industries ever since
- The technology may have changed from pen and inks to print and on-line links but the name has always remained the same
- Today the Company has over 900 members, the vast majority of whom are senior executives in the complete range of trades within the Communications and Content industries, from paper, print, publishing, packaging, office products, newspapers, broadcasting and online media
- Membership is drawn from across the UK and increasingly throughout the world and now includes major companies as well as individual members
- The Company uses Stationers’ Hall for the purpose for which it was built all those years ago: to bring together the major players in our industries so that they can enjoy each other’s company, learn from one another, share ideas and together develop strategies for the future of industries that are vital to global economic growth
- Activities range from formal dinners, informal lunches, lectures, seminars and intimate round-table sessions to online reports and discussion fora.
- Our objectives are:
- to encourage a broad balance of membership
- to deliver industry-relevant events at Stationers' Hall that provide excellent networking opportunities are good value for money and fun
- to maximise the resources of our charity, the Stationers' Foundation and direct them towards causes connected with our industries
- to develop our facilities at Stationers' Hall to enhance the benefits of membership and increase commercial lettings
- to play an active part in the work of the Corporation of London
- to create full transparency in our governance procedures
- to increase out impact in the industry through improved public relations
- to preserve our archives and make them accessible to a broader public audience
What Life in the Stationers’ Company Involves
Our 900 individual members can be divided into two categories: Freemen, which is the entry-level of membership, and Liverymen, who are full members. Although we use the word ‘men’ in both cases, women make up a growing proportion of our membership at all levels. Some of the more formal events are only open to Liverymen and their guests and committee membership is almost always only open to Liverymen. We have a growing number of Corporate Members: businesses which are leaders in each of the sectors that make up the Communications and Content industries. There is more detail on membership here.
Members are able to attend and bring guests to around 60 events held each year at Stationers’ Hall. These events are a mixture of formal dinners, lunches, receptions, lectures and discussions, and are designed to enable members to network with one another, learn from one another and share in the wonderful resource of Stationers’ Hall as the ‘heart and home’ of the Communications and Content industries.
Liverymen also have the opportunity to participate in the future development of the Company. They are encouraged to join one of a number of committees (which usually meet three or four times a year) overseeing all aspects of the Company from its relationship with our industries to the wine we buy for our events. Members are also encouraged to act as ‘champions’ for their specific industry sectors and to help on specific projects. We aim to engage around 150 Liverymen in the management of the Company.
The Company is managed by a Court of some 30 senior members chaired by the Master, who is assisted by two Wardens. The Master serves for one year and acts as the ambassador of the Company throughout our industries and within the City of London. It is our aim that election to serve as Master of the Stationers’ Company should be seen as the pinnacle of achievement for all senior executives in the Communications and Content industries.
Charitable giving is one of the defining features of a Livery Company and the Stationers’ Company is very proud of the work of our charity, the Stationers’ Foundation, which supports a number of educational projects linked to the Communications and Content industries as well as the welfare of people connected to these industries.
The demand on the resources of the Foundation is enormous and the income generated from our charitable endowment fund falls well short of our current giving programme and our aspirations to increase this. In 2015 we gave just over £250,000 in educational grants and awards and in 2016, on top of this, we will provide a substantial donation to the Stationers’ Academy for its new Digital Media Centre.
The shortfall is made up through the generosity of our individual and corporate members. Giving to the Stationers’ Foundation is a critically important way in which members can show their commitment to, and support of, the Company. It therefore plays a significant role in the progression of members from joining as Freemen to serving as Master.
The Company understands that the financial circumstances of individual members will differ widely. For this reason the amount that each gives is less important than the fact that everyone in the Company makes a contribution on a regular basis at a level that they feel comfortable with. If we achieved this goal, we could easily double the amount that the Stationers’ Foundation gives to good causes each year.
The Company accepts and celebrates the fact that members can also support the work of the Stationers’ Foundation by volunteering their time and talents and by making donations in kind. Such support is welcomed and always recognised.
The Company is committed to keeping its membership regularly informed of the Stationers’ Foundation’s programme of giving.