Photo: National PCC Week logo.

National Postal Customer Council (PCC) Day — a time when USPS officials and the nation’s PCCs get together to exchange ideas and viewpoints — has been expanded to National PCC Week.

During PCC Week, scheduled Sept.17-21, approximately 8,000 PCC members will hear Postmaster General Pat Donahoe discuss the current state of the Postal Service. The week’s events also will include recognition of PCCs that have grown professionally through focused educational programs.

“National PCC Week is an excellent opportunity for our customers to learn more about our products and services,” said Deputy Postmaster General Ron Stroman. “PCC Week offers us more time to meet with our valuable business customers and to learn from them how we can improve the ways we respond to their needs and requirements.”

USPS will distribute a pre-recorded video message for all PCC venues. The video also will have current information and product announcements — all in an entertaining format.

“With the expanded National PCC Week, PCCs have the opportunity to schedule events anytime during the week that is most convenient to their members,” said Consumer and Industry Affairs Vice President Maura Robinson. “This will allow more time for local PCC networking at the venue of their choice.”

Watch for more information on PCC Week in a PCC Insider Special Edition later this month.



Photo: Tag 57

This election season, mailers can use the highly visible, red Tag 57 on more types of political mail. In addition to its previous use for any political campaign mailings by a registered political candidate, campaign committee or a committee of a political party, Tag 57 now also can be used for “political message mailings” from Political Action Committees (PACs), Super-PACs or other organizations engaging in issue advocacy or voter mobilization.

Mail from organizations such as labor unions, religious groups, retiree associations and others that endorse specific candidates or political issues is now considered “political message mailing” and therefore can be identified with Tag 57 for processing.

More information on Election Mail is available on the Government Services pages of usps.com.


Photo: gopost station.

USPS recently performed over 200 demonstrations of gopost at RECon, a global real estate convention attended by more than 30,000 people in the shopping center industry. An electronic parcel locker, gopost enables customers to drop off and pick up packages at convenient times and locations.

“A number of people remarked that it was good to see the Postal Service being so innovative,” said Channel Access Vice President Kelly Sigmon. “gopost adds a new level of convenience to eCommerce. With gopost, a customer can order something online and pick it up at a shopping center or buy something at the shopping center and then ship it out.”


Photo: Express Mail padded envelope.

The new Express Mail Padded Flat Rate Envelope is a great way to send light merchandise — overnight — to almost anywhere in the country.

Measuring 9 1/2 by 12 1/2 inches, with a little extra cushioning to protect the contents, the new padded envelope is available for commercial and online customers for $17.75 by ordering free of charge from The Postal Store at usps.com/shop.

The envelope is the newest addition to the line of Express Mail Flat Rate products. Other products include a legal and regular-sized envelope (both $18.95 retail, $17.75 for commercial and online customers), and an Express Mail Flat Rate Box launched last January.

All these Express Mail Flat Rate products also are available for international shipments (see usps.com for international pricing and weights).


Photo: Woman using smartphone to scan QR code.

USPS is planning a 2012 Holiday Mobile Shopping Promotion for the busiest shopping time of the year. Running for two weeks in November, the promotion will be similar to the current Mobile Commerce and Personalization Promotion which continues through August.

The November promotion is designed to put mobile-optimized promotional offers, coupons and catalogs into customers’ hands in time for Black Friday to Cyber Monday mobile shopping sprees. Last year, there were three record online spending days in the week following Thanksgiving, reaching a total of $7 billion, according to leading e-commerce analysts. Mobile purchasing made up about 10-15 percent of the total, up from approximately 4 percent a year earlier.

In addition to offering mailers an upfront 2-percent discount as a way of encouraging mail-to-mobile technologies like barcodes, participants would be entitled to an additional 1-percent postage rebate if a portion of orders are fulfilled using Priority Mail. For more information and program requirements, see the Promotions and Incentives page on RIBBS.


The Postal Service offers small business customers assistance through the Small Business Customer Support Center toll-free help line: USPS-4-SMBIZ (877-747-6249). Agents specially trained in postal products and services for small businesses are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time, and Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time.


INSIDE SCOOP graphic: USPS is the core of  $1 trillion mailing industry that employs more than 8 million people.


  • National PCC Week, Sept. 17-21
  • National Postal Forum, March 17-20, 2013, San Francisco, CA



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Photo: Greater Atlanta PCC Industry Co-Chair Mitchell Gound.
Greater Atlanta PCC Industry Co-Chair Mitchell Gound.

Keeping members engaged and reaching out to like-minded organizations were two tactics that helped the Greater Atlanta PCC win the “2011 PCC of the Year” honor and achieve Gold Level in the Premier Program.

Greater Atlanta PCC Industry Co-Chair Mitchell Gound, who is vice president and general manager of Pitney Bowes Presort Services, said all the board members have made themselves available to the council’s membership to help foster member engagement. “We have decades of experience we can share with them,” he said.

The group holds planning meetings, Gound says, to be sure they are continually providing value to the mailing community. The council also holds as many events as possible — networking, lunch and learn events, and holiday brunches as well as regular meetings, educational programs, clinics and seminars — to keep mailers advised of the latest USPS developments.

Gound credits growth of the Greater Atlanta council to ideas he picked up in The End of Membership as We Know It, a book that discusses why people don’t maintain memberships and how to remedy this problem.

The council, which was established in 1987, decided to expand its reach by working with other organizations that also were dealing with declining memberships, such as the Mailing and Fulfillment Service Association, Printing and Imaging Association of Georgia, American Institute of Graphic Arts, and the Direct Marketing Association. “This is an ongoing process and the topic of many planning meetings,” said Gound.

He also had some basic advice for other PCC chapters. “Keep your website up to date, relevant and well-designed,” he said. To check out the Greater Atlanta site, go to: http://gapcc.net/.

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