Patrick R. Donahoe

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

Marketing Sustainably: A blog posting questions, opportunities, concerns and observations on sustainability in marketing. Chet Dalzell has 25 years of public relations management and expertise in service to leading brands in consumer, donor, patient and business-to-business markets, and in the field of integrated marketing. He serves on the ANA International ECHO Awards Board of Governors, as an adviser to the Direct Marketing Club of New York, and is senior director, communications and industry relations, with the Digital Advertising Alliance. Chet loves UConn Basketball (men's and women's) and Nebraska Football (that's just men, at this point), too! 

With union negotiations coming up very soon, the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) picked Sunday—when Megan J. Brennan officially became postmaster general and CEO of the U.S. Postal Service—to "welcome" her. In a statement emailed to Target Marketing on Sunday and again on Monday, APWU President Mark Dimondstein says he'd like to see the USPS expand hours to handle the e-commerce boom and offer customers new services, such as postal banking. The union's contract runs out in May, with negotiations slated to begin 90 days prior, according to the APWU website. These negotiations come as the USPS Board of Governors lacks a quorum, due to congressional inaction on nominees.

Mail delivery slowed down yesterday and it's only expected to get worse. Starting now, the U.S. Postal Service is consolidating up to 82 of its mail processing facilities in an effort to save $2.1 billion this year. As a result, USPS expects a lot of First Class mail and periodicals not to be delivered overnight. Instead, they will arrive in two days, with pieces that normally arrive in two days now taking three. Standard Mail will continue to be delivered in three to 10 days within the contiguous United States and packages within two to eight, according to the Federal Register.

The U.S. Postal Service needs to compete to survive and that means acting more like a private business, says Megan J. Brennan. To that end, the USPS needs to concentrate on direct mail and package delivery, says the first female postmaster general who will take over after Patrick R. Donahoe retires on Feb. 1. Brennan details a few of her plans for the USPS in a Sunday article in The Wall Street Journal.

In what many journalists call a "Friday night news dump," parlance for dropping a big story that organizations hope won't get noticed right away, Facebook announced that it will all but do away with organic brand reach on consumers' news feeds in January. "Pages that post promotional creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time," according to Facebook. That prompted this Monday Forrester Blog post from Nate Elliott: "Facebook Has Finally Killed Organic Reach. What Should Marketers Do Next?"

Once, there was a Constitution-ordained, universal delivery service of hard-copy, print communications called the United States Postal Service. It was affordable, reliable and the most efficient of its kind in the world. Direct mail was its bread and butter, and many brands that sought to find and keep customers in a very targeted manner used the service avidly.

Increased revenue and savings from efficiency efforts weren’t enough to prevent the U.S. Postal Service from losing $1.9 billion in its fiscal second quarter, postal officials said Friday. The earnings report, which follows a $1.3 billion first-quarter loss, spurred officials to again call on Congress to enact Postal Service-proposed changes to help stabilize the agency. Officials have urged changes to employee health insurance, retirement and mail-delivery schedules. The Postal Service’s second-quarter revenue from package delivery rose by $267 million, or 9.3 percent, compared with the prior year, while revenue from advertising mail was up $96 million, or 2.4 percent.

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