For mailers across the United States, the next best educational opportunity is National Postal Customer Council (“PCC”) Week, which takes place September 25 – 29, 2017 at multiple locations throughout the country.
PCCs have a variety of events scheduled – from luncheons, to half-day seminars to full-day conferences. At almost every event, a senior representative from the United States Postal Service (“USPS”) will be present to discuss upcoming postal initiatives and field questions from the audience. Their presentation will be supplemented with training on subjects like networking, quality control and professional management.
The highlight for the attendees will be the recorded message from Postmaster General Megan Brennan and her team. With legislative postal reform unlikely, and the impending release of the Postal Regulatory Commission’s review of postal rates, there’s a lot of uncertainty in the industry. PMG Brennan will need to address these issues, and reassure mailers that the USPS is prepared for the future.
PCCs are an underutilized resource – by both the USPS and mailers. I know of no other industry where the customers volunteer to organize, and then pay for, educational events on how to use a vendor’s service better. The PCCs are a great way to distribute information to business customers, and educational seminars are needed.
USPS management needs to listen to the customers as well. Not just parry comments with prepared defenses of postal policy, but attentively listen and react to what the customers are saying. Large mailers may be represented by professional organizations, but the PCCs represent the small and mid-sized mailer as well. Business mailers – First Class, Standard, Package and Periodical mailers – represent the overwhelming majority of the USPS income. Their voice deserves to be heard, and their opinions matter.
Too many mailers don’t take advantage of the opportunities presented by their local PCC. There are classes on postal regulations, USPS initiatives and industry trends. We’re in an era of transformative changes on how we create, print and prepare mailings. Whether running an in-plant or outsourcing to a mail-service provider, we owe it to our organizations to keep ourselves educated. And PCCs provide that educational outlet.
To find more about your local PCC and their National PCC Week event, check out the PCC Locator on the USPS website. Or, call your local USPS District Business Service Network representative for more information. Most of the events are more than reasonably priced, so bring some of your co-workers with you. The benefits far outweigh the expense.
PS – I believe in practicing what I preach. I’ve been a member of the Greater Boston PCC for decades, currently sit on their Executive Board, and am a sponsor for their PCC Day show. During National PCC Week, I’m presenting for 2 different PCCs – the Lincoln, Nebraska PCC Mailer’s Workshop on September 26, and the Twin Cities PCC EVOLVE Mail Expo on September 27. As always, I’m waiving my speaking fees for these mailing organizations.
Hope to see you at a PCC event soon!