Extended Coverage: USPS - Will It Disappear?
When your editor makes a decision to defend you in the comments section below a feature article, then the article must have hit a nerve!
I talked to several mailers, and association leaders who represent them, in a feature this month in the magazine ... as I should: mailers have a lot to say about goings-on at the Postal Service (and not-goings-on in Congress) leading some mail marketers to re-evaluate the medium. I'd say it is a timely premise—particularly with the recent exigent postage hike on top of the inflation-indexed hike.
Far more was offered than I could include in the feature. However, "Marketing Sustainably" has a bit of room and—with my editor's permission—allow me to share a few more observations.
Let me be clear, every mailer I talked to wants the Postal Service to succeed. The prescriptions may vary. What may be unclear is how it will succeed...
Always the Postologist, Charley Howard of Harte-Hanks had these points to share on a future path:
"If the Postal Service is allowed to manage its own healthcare, get the pre-retirement funding relief from Congress that it is due, and get Congress to back off on leaning in on operations, I believe that we would have a USPS that is both viable and competitive. We should close post offices that only see 1.5 people a day, limit some mail delivery to five days (keep the parcels moving) and have the USPS become more sensitive to pricing. These outcomes require enabling legislation—and that's a big 'if' and certainly not likely in an election year, never mind by 2020 or 2025."
"I believe the leadership of the USPS, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe in particular, has made the right decisions to try and save the post office," says Paul Ercolino of U.S. Monitor. "Cost cutting, Network Rationalization and five-day delivery are all controversial decisions, but they are essential if the Post Office is to survive in the coming years."