PMG addresses PCC about direct mail

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Mail matters to American consumers and businesses, and finding ways to make mail more valuable is crucial to the future of the US Postal Service. This was the message that Postmaster General John E. Potter shared by remote feed with more than 14,000 customers and Postal Service officials gathered at more than 150 sites to participate in National Postal Customer Council Day today.

The Postal Customer Council is comprised of community-based business mailers and representatives of the US Postal Service, who gather to share ideas and resources for a closer working relationship.

The PCC aims to improve service and communication on the national and local levels.

"We want to continue working with you on building strong and positive relationships," Potter said to customers and Postal Service officials. "National PCC Day is the place where good councils add up to great counsel."

He said one example of the PCC's effort is the Intelligent Mail Barcode, which provides a wealth of information to mailers, including the ability to track mail end to end.

As of now, over 200 mailers are using the barcode, according to Potter.

Potter was joined during the broadcast by Georgann Dustan of the elections division of Multnomah County, OR, who praised the security of the mail and Postal Service infrastructure that helped make voting by mail a success in her state, and by John Greco, president and chief executive officer of the Direct Marketing Association.

Greco estimated that marketers will invest more than $55 billion in direct mail this year.

Potter and Greco also addressed the proposals in 15 states that would create Do Not Mail legislation.

Greco said the DM industry is adopting a range of business best practices that will keep mail welcomed by consumers, including a "Recycle Please" program and other actions that can have a more positive impact on the environment.

Potter also spoke of the new competitive environment created by the postal law and the ways the Postal Service has been working to understand and implement the opportunities, including setting service and measurement standards for every class of mail, becoming profit-driven and redefining the rate and pricing processes.

"One of the biggest changes is keeping rates at or below inflation. We must manage rates by class and we've never done that before," he said. "The goal is to make a profit every year. We are more cognizant than ever of the bottom line.

"I'm bullish on the mail and I'm convinced you are, too," Potter said. "I'm convinced that we have a great future together."

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