Postmaster General Brennan's View for the Future of the Post Office
Before a room full at catalogers at the American Catalog Mailers Association's (ACMA) Annual Forum and Policy Caucus in Washington, D.C. yesterday, Megan Brennan, the 74th Postmaster General and CEO of the U.S. Postal Service — and the first woman to hold the position — addressed the future of her organization and why she believes it can still be a viable entity in an increasingly digital world.
My primary mission is to return the USPS to solvency, Brennan said, noting that there's been a 27 percent decrease in mail volume since 2007, which has contributed to eight consecutive years of net losses for the organization ($51.7 billion in total losses over that eight-year time period). To do that, Brennan is making a habit to engage key stakeholders, including mailers such as those represented at the ACMA event, postal union leaders and policymakers.
Specifically addressing the mailers in the audience, Brennan said there are some positives to report in the midst of the doom and gloom that's surrounded the USPS for some years now. For one, catalogs beget packages, a growing business segment for the Postal Service. Likewise, catalogs beget more catalogs, as one attendee pointed out. The more successful — i.e., profitable — a catalog drop is, the more likely that company will rush to get more catalogs in the mail.
In addition to growing its package delivery business, USPS is investing resources into giving print "a digital reflection." For example, the Postal Service has launched a pilot program in Northern Virginia called Real Mail Notification that enables people to receive an email that contains all of the mail that will be delivered to their physical mailbox that day. Customers receive scanned images of the outside of their envelopes and small packages the morning before they receive them. And as an incentive to direct mailers who want to participate in the Real Mail program, the email contains a "Click It" button that takes the mail recipient to wherever the marketer wants — e.g., its website, a map to their closest store, etc.