Association for Postal Commerce
"Representing those who use or support the use of mail for Business Communication and Commerce"
"You will be able to enjoy only those postal rights you believe are worth defending."
START BY DOING HOMEWORK AT HOME
Part of our task will not only include defending ourselves in the very media in which our opponents launch their attacks, but also making absolutely sure that those whom we employ understand clearly what's at stake and how they can help in the discernment of environmental fact and fiction.
The following, for example, is a sample of the kind of letter that we should begin sending to all who are in our employ to help educate them as to the nature of this struggle and to enlist them in our effort to set the record straight.
Model Letter That Can Be Used With Your Employees
This is a letter about pride, and this is also a letter about your job and your community.
From time-to-time you may hear people describe material that goes through the postal system as "junk mail." Sometimes you may even hear others in our workplace use such a term.
The probability is that most people who use the expression "junk mail" mean no harm. To them the words are just a label, a shorthand way to describe a given product or service.
But the truth is that labels count. If you were in a supermarket would you buy "hamburger" or "dirty hamburger"? Even if both products were exactly alike, even if the second one was cheaper, there is absolutely no question which product you would bring home.
In a similar fashion, the term "junk mail" is a slur. It's damaging and hurtful. It presumes there's no value to the products and services we produce so the question of quality is not worth asking -- it's be pre-judged for us. The term "junk mail" says what we make is unwanted and useless. It means that the products and services we produce each day simply represent more trash for America's landfills.
The term "junk mail" means YOUR JOB should not exist.
The term "junk mail" was created more than 50 years ago. It was designed by competitors who did not want the Postal Service to deliver mail on the basis of street addresses. Deliver mail by name, sure. Deliver mail to everyone on the block, nope. That was somehow unfair.
You notice there were no concerns about trees, landfills or the environment. There were no worries about the ability of small businesses and new businesses to economically and efficiently advertise their products and services. There were no concerns about unions, non-profit organizations, religious congregations, environmental groups and others reaching the public cheaply and efficiently.
The only concern behind the "junk mail" campaign was money. People who never missed a meal and had no worries about rent, mortgages, car payments, tuition costs or medical bills wanted more dollars.
And if you lost your job because someone else wanted more and more money, it's not a big deal, right? Aren't there a lot of jobs out there?
It's time to fight back.
Don't be afraid to speak up when someone uses the term "junk mail." The facts are on your side. Let's look at a few claims.Nonsense. Compared to the year 2000, the Postal Service delivered an additional 4.3 billion letters and packages in 2007. Given that we live in the Internet Era, the mailstream represents the one form of paper-based communication which is healthy, growing and in demand. Why? With mail you can shop when you like, have more choices, get coupons and reduce gas usage. You can hear from your favorite charity, club, union, church or political party. And you can do it all from home.
- The Myth: Mail is unwanted.
The Myth: Our landfills are brimming with mail.Nonsense. According to the EPA, 38.7 percent of all mail was recovered in 2006. This figure is rising as more and more local governments begin to collect all forms of paper. Also, landfill capacity is growing because small and inefficient landfills are being replaced with fewer-but-larger facilities. The result, says the New York Times, is that "it became clear in the early 1990's that there was a glut of disposal space, not the widely believed shortage that had drawn headlines in the 1980's."
The Myth: Mail hurts our forests.Nonsense. Virtually all paper today comes from paper farms and recycled materials. ABC News says we have more forest area today than in 1920, almost a century ago. Why? We need less land for agriculture.
The Myth: We get too much mail.Nonsense. When was the last time your dinner or a TV program was interrupted by mail? And ask yourself: Who should mail less? The neighborhood pizza parlor? A church? An environmental organization? This is America. We believe in free speech. No one has the right to tell anyone else to speak less, write less or mail less.
The Myth: Mailers pay less for postage than I do and that's not fair.Nonsense. Imagine that you buy a bicycle. You can pay $100 for a fully-assembled bike or $50 for one you assemble yourself. In other words, if you do more of the work you pay less to the bicycle store. The same is true with the mail system. Mailers do much of the sorting and preparation that the Postal Service would otherwise have to do. Mailers must deliver their materials to a limited number of special postal facilities and not just any corner mailbox. In exchange for more work, mailers pay less -- just like at the bicycle store.
The Myth: Environmental groups oppose mail.Nonsense. Every major environmental group uses the mailstream to increase membership, raise money and influence public opinion. When asked if Greenpeace was contributing to the nation's environmental problems because the group uses direct mail, Peter Bahouth, a former Greenpeace executive director, told ABC News that "accusing environmental groups of paper pollution is a bit like saying that we need to get the ambulances off the street because they're loud."
The Myth: The USPS can survive and offer today’s rates and service with Postage costs would drop if there was less mail.Nonsense. In 2007 the Postal Service had 786,000 employees. It provided mail to 148 million delivery points. To keep this system working the Postal Service needs mail volume. In 2007 the USPS took in nearly $74 billion from postage payers.took in nearly $75 billion. With fewer pieces of mail there would be less postage. But the USPS would have the same there would still be fixed costs for people, post offices, trucks and such. The USPS would be forced to raise rates, cut service, and close postal stations. The result is that if there was less mail those fixed costs would have to be divided among fewer pieces of mail and costs per piece of mail would rise. For instance, if the Postal Service has fixed costs of $100 and handles 500 pieces of mail, the cost per piece is 20 cents. ($100 divided by 500). If mail volume falls to 300 pieces and costs remain the same -- remember they are largely fixed -- then the cost per piece would RISE to 33.3 cents apiece. ($100 divided by 300)
The Myth:Nonsense. You can't read a daily paper or turn on the news and not know that America is losing jobs to overseas competitors. The mailstream is more than those 786,000 postal workers. It's generally estimated that 9,000,000 U.S. jobs depend on the mailstream.
When someone says they want less mail, they're really saying they want fewer jobs inside our borders. Fewer jobs locally in the community where we live. Not their job, of course. Your job.
The next time someone uses the term "junk mail" be sure to speak up. The term "junk mail" is not funny, not acceptable and not without meaning: The meaning is that your job isn't worth a dime and that what you do is worthless. That's junk thinking and the time to be quiet is over.