Jack Potter

Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is in the midst of a sweeping reorganization and change in focus, which began with the October 2010 appointment of a new postmaster general, followed by significant organizational changes in January, which will continue for some months to come.

I don’t know how much more I can do or say about the U.S. Postal Service and its stupidity. I've made all kinds of suggestions on how it can increase its revenues, incentivize companies to try mail and win back customers who have abandoned the channel. I even wrote a fake testimonial letter from an online marketing company thanking the USPS for helping it build their business. And yet the madness continues.

In a strategic organizational shift designed to achieve long-term business objectives, PMG Jack Potter today announced realignments within two groups representing key areas of revenue growth for USPS. The Expedited Shipping and Ground Shipping groups have merged into a single Shipping Services group. Potter has named Gary Reblin, formerly vice president, Expedited Shipping, to lead the unified group as vice president, Shipping Services. Also, USPS has formed the Product Visibility and Operational Performance group to develop a world-class customer information platform through scanning technologies and product tracking services. Potter named Jim Cochrane, formerly vice president, Ground Shipping, to lead the new group as vice president, Product Visibility and Operational Performance.

Over the last three years, I've been super vocal about my dislike for the U.S. Postal Service and its less-than-forward-thinking bureaucracy. When it slammed catalog mailers with 20 percent-plus postage increases in 2007, I went (pun intended) postal on it. Therefore, I have to applaud the USPS for its announcement last week that there would not be a postal rate increase in 2010 for dominant classes.

Last week, word quickly spread that the USPS is looking to offer a "summer sale" on postage for large volume mailers of Standard mail, pending Postal Regulatory Commission approval. Friends and readers, if this is true, I'd have to say that for the first time in my career in direct marketing, the people running the USPS may be thinking like businesspeople and not as a bureaucracy. 

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