Key Notes – Volume 04 Number 01

Notoriety with Left-Handed Edition – The Custer County Chief in Broken Bow, NE, wanted something unique to spark interest in the paper.  An issue printed backward did much better than anticipated.  Just for fun, the staff of the Custer County Chief opted to print a left-handed newspaper.  It was hugely successful, a nice moneymaker and a great team builder.  The newspaper viewed the product as a special edition and tried to pull the focus into the entire paper, from front-page news, feature stories, sports and advertising.  Probably the only section left unscathed was the public notices. The Chief ended up on The Associated Press with the headline “McCaslin is a leftist” which prompted paper requests from around the world.  They over printed in anticipation, and promptly sold out.  Source:  NNA

Surface Visibility Program Expands – USPS has expanded its Surface Visibility (SV) program to an additional 114 sites, bringing the total number to 437 across the nation.  The program is part of the Postal Service’s broader efforts to better use technology and promote the SV application, which improves scanning and makes it easier for business customers to know the whereabouts of their mail and packages.  To further close visibility gaps, USPS also has expanded SV scanning capability to 65 peak annexes and five contracted sites, providing these locations with more flexible technology that uses the cellular network.  Source:  USPS Link

Top 10 Postal Stories of 2016 – Out with the old; in with the new.  It’s a common saying at the start of the New Year.  In the postal world, however, some old things go out at the end of the year, only to return again in the New Year, like postal reform.  In any event, there was no shortage of news in 2016 about the Postal Service, the mailing and shipping industries, and innovations that affect the postal world.  To that end, Office of Inspector General (OIG) staff sifted through the news and put together a top 10 list of postal stories.  Source:  USPS OIG

PostalPro – USPS has introduced PostalPro, an online resource for commercial mailers that will replace the RIBBS site.  PostalPro’s design is based on recommendations from a variety of sources, including customer and Postal Service research and input from the Mailers Technical Advisory Council, a group that provides technical guidance to improve mail-related products and services.  The site features improved search functionality to create more intuitive experiences for users.  PostalPro is currently running parallel to RIBBS.  Source:  USPS Link

Amazon Stacks Up Delivery Drone Patents – At the tail end of last year, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) approved a Amazon patent for counter-measures to protect delivery drones from hackers and thieves. And now it has recently emerged that back in April the USPTO also approved an Amazon patent for an “airborne fulfillment center utilizing unmanned aerial vehicles for item delivery”. Or, as the media would have it, giant flying warehouses and drone fleets.  The airborne fulfilment centre patent was unearthed by CB Insights journalist Zoe Leavitt.  Essentially, the airborne unit will function like a mobile “pop-up” FC, which can be quickly deployed in locations where Amazon expects to see a surge in demand for a particular line of items.  Source:  Post and Parcel

USPS to End “Approved Shipper” Programme with Staples – The US Postal Service (USPS) will be shutting down its “approved shipper” programme in Staples stores, according to the American Postal Workers Union (APWU).  In an article posted on its website (5 January), the APWU said that USPS management had informed the union in writing that programme in Staples stores “will be shut down by the end of February 2017″.  The APWU has been a staunch opponent of the USPS/Staples arrangement, which APWU President Mark Dimondstein described as “an acceleration in the privatization of retail services and a direct assault on our jobs”.  Source:  Post & Parcel

 “Make Magazines Great Again” – But how do we do that when they’re already a wonderful platform for reputable information and great entertainment?  We amplify and affirm the great characteristics magazines have. Magazine makers need to toot their own horns, announce to the masses at large that magazines and their many brand extensions are here to stay.  In short, we need to make magazines great again in the minds of our audiences first and then advertisers and retailers will follow suit.  Source:  Mr. Magazine