Wednesday, March 17, 2010
What do you do for a quasi-government entity that has lost its purpose for existence? This is the knotty problem facing the US Postal Service. Year by year it carries less mail and faces larger losses because everything but catalogs is moving online. Imagine, if you will, that you are a PR practitioner working for the post office. What do you say? How do you convince people to use a service that is the same as a buggy whip maker in the age of automobiles? Lately the post office has been featuring parcel post with flat rates for shipping standard-size boxes less than 70 pounds in weight. That seems to be working but can it offset the collapse of first class mail? The postal service is forecasting billions in losses over the next few years, and it is planning to suspend Saturday service to cut costs. That won't be enough either. The public has decided to sever its relationship with mail carriers, and there is little anyone can do about it.