Elizabeth Johnson named acting VP, Corporate Communications

From USPS News Link:

Elizabeth Johnson has been named acting vice president, Corporate Communications. She will lead efforts to help the Postal Service communicate about important activities internally and externally.

Johnson succeeds Mitzi Betman, who retired as vice president, Corporate Communications, and chief of staff Jan. 16.

“Corporate Communications plays a vital role in informing employees and customers about the work of the Postal Service, and I look forward to working with the team to continue those efforts,” Johnson said.

Johnson, district manager for Mississippi District, previously served as district manager for Central Florida and Maine districts. She worked in Human Resources for many years, including as a labor relations manager for Northeast Area and a human resources manager for Midwest Area.

“In all her positions, Elizabeth has demonstrated a passion for communications and has achieved high levels of performance as a result,” said PMG Pat Donahoe.

Footprints on your brain: OIG wants to do neuroscience research

BrainYou might think that the US Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General has enough on its plate, what with investigating employee crimes, auditing financial statements, etc., but it seems the OIG wants to branch out into “neuroscience research to understand the human response to and effectiveness of physical communications”.

Specifically, the OIG would like a contractor to:

Develop a neurophysiological study that illustrates the different human response to hard copy and digital advertising. Proposed methods may include, but are not limited to, traditional self-report, implicit testing, eye tracking, facial coding, core biometrics, EEG, and fMRI, or some combination thereof. The USPS OIG prefers a methodology that is rigorous and cost effective, but is open to discussion on the selection of methods.

The OIG apparently came up with the idea after reading a Royal Mail commissioned study that

… found that physical media left a “deeper footprint” in the brain than digital messages, even after controlling for the increase in sensory processing for tangible items. The study results seem to reveal that all other effects being equal, direct mail-based materials are more concrete and “real” for the brain, internalized more, facilitate emotional processing, and result in more fluent decision-making.

The OIG figures the USPS could

use this information in its ongoing efforts to assist its customers, including SMEs, through its “concierge services” pilot program and other outreach activities such as webinars and communication collateral to help create effective marketing strategies.

I’m sure they could! (Who knew the USPS had concierges?)

Understanding the Effectiveness of Physical Communications – Federal Business Opportunities: Opportunities.

Former CSAC member endorses Bailar’s comments on stamp program

A former member of the United States Postal Service’s Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee has endorsed former postmaster general Benjamin Bailar’s criticism of the current stamp program.

Cary Brick, a former congressional staffer who left the committee last year, said in an Aug. 7 statement that he also fears marketing officials are having too much influence on stamp selections.

“The bottom-line fact is this: the Committee has been hijacked by the Postal Service’s marketing geniuses who believe that stamp subjects should be selected and designed with what they hope their potential sales revenues will bring into the coffers,” he said in a statement.

“They apparently are convinced that 49-cent stamps will bring the Postal Service into the black. What nonsense.”

Read more: Former CSAC member endorses Bailar’s comments – Linns.com.

Former PMG warns against “prostituting” stamp program for profit

From Linns Stamp News:

Former postmaster general Benjamin F. Bailar has resigned from the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, questioning the value of continuing a panel that has guided United States stamp policy since 1957.

In a letter to Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe, Bailar suggested that the committee has become overly concerned about trying to raise money for the cash-poor U.S. Postal Service and less worried about what message U.S. stamps offer the world.

Linn’s obtained a copy of his July 23 letter, which Bailar had not meant to be made public.

“In my opinion the stamp program should celebrate the things that are great about the United States and serve as a medium to communicate those things to a world-wide audience,” Bailar said.

“To prostitute that goal in the pursuit of possibly illusory profits does not make sense to me.”

Read more: Former PMG quits CSAC – Linns.com.

USPS CMO Manabe named to Marketing "Hall of Femme"

From USPS News Link:

CMSO Nagisa Manabe has been selected as an honoree for Direct Marketing News’ 2014 Marketing “Hall of Femme.”

The award honors women who are marketing leaders and who have had a significant impact on the success of their organizations in the past year.

As a winner, Manabe will be interviewed for the magazine and eBook. She also will represent USPS at an award luncheon in March.

Manabe is being recognized for her executive oversight of teams that delivered more than $1 billion over projections in 2013, including development and marketing of domestic and international mail products and services, as well ongoing development of secure digital solutions and other projects.

Read more: USPS News Link Story – Hall of Femme.

USPS realigns Marketing/Sales again- to "take advantage of natural synergies". Seriously.

The USPS is realigning its Marketing and Sales organizations again. This time we’re told that the moves will ” increase strategic alignment” which must be a good thing, as well as “take advantage of natural synergies among coordinating work groups”.

You have to wonder how long these “natural synergies” have gone without advantage having been taken of them! I can’t remember reading a more meaningless string of words in a long time. And I read Darrell Issa’s press releases!  But it all sounds somehow familiar- if anyone can recall how many times the USPS has realigned its Marketing and Sales departments in recent years, for similarly nebulous reasons, please let us know in the comments. As for how well those reorganizations have worked, well, the less said the better!

Here’s the rest of the announcement from USPS News Link:

USPS is making changes in the Marketing and Sales structure at headquarters to increase strategic alignment, streamline operations and take advantage of natural synergies among coordinating work groups.

  • A Retail Channel Operations department has been established in the Chief Operating Officer organization. The new unit will focus on the integration and implementation of the retail strategy and technology for the retail network.
  • The Retail Technology Support team, now under Engineering Systems in the Chief Information Officer organization, will be responsible for day-to-day management, integration and deployment of retail-related technology that supports Retail Channel Operations programs.
  • A new Retail Marketing and Strategy group under Brand Marketing will develop retail channel marketing strategies to improve the retail customer experience, maximize retail revenue and reduce the cost to serve. This includes initiating and expanding business partnerships with outside product companies and retail providers.
  • The Insights and Marketing Services group under Brand Marketing is being expanded to make more effective use of advertising and graphic services that support strategy development and implementation.

Stamp Services also is realigning its resources, combining Stamp Manufacturing with Stamp Fulfillment Services to coordinate production and distribution under a single group. Stamp Development also has been realigned, shifting resources to help with research. In addition, the functions within Licensing have been further defined to improve processes and protect stamp designs.

Employees impacted by these changes have been notified and will be kept informed throughout the transition and implementation process. Within headquarters, only employees impacted by this organizational change are eligible for the Voluntary Early Retirement.

More information related to organizational change is available on the LiteBlue employee website. Go to the Organizational Changes pages and the Workforce Connection site. Employees also can find these links in the “Hot Topics” section on LiteBlue, or the “My HR” section on the upper right corner of the LiteBlue home page.

Employees should check these sites often for updates.