Displaying the power of mail
Will it surprise you to learn the Postal Service was one of the hits at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show?
CES brings technology enthusiasts and business leaders to Las Vegas to see the latest gadgets, including some that won’t hit the market for months. The 2015 show was the largest in history, drawing 150,000 attendees and more than 3,600 exhibitors.
USPS was one of the most popular exhibitors. Each day, hundreds of potential customers visited our booth to ship their purchases — and to learn about the power of mail.
For example, our display featured a station dedicated to digitally enhanced mail, which uses QR codes and other technology to bring traditional mailpieces to life.
Attendees could also play a memory game using Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express boxes and have their picture taken at our state-of-the-art photo booth, where they could create ready-made postcards using famous Las Vegas landmarks as a backdrop.
No less an authority than Time.com identified the Postal Service’s booth as one of the “most eye-catching.” The site described it as “a booth with a tasteful, boxy design, which perfectly captures the essence of packaging and shipping.”
Hey, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves! Check out some of the booth photos below:
The surveys “The Check is in the Mail” and “The Check is in the Mail-2” delivered First-Class results for the USPS. I am happy to report that of those surveyed the majority feel the USPS is important to them. The actual question posed to both groups was “Please rate how important is the US Postal Service to you?” Respondents chose between Very Important, Important, Sort of Important, Not very Important or Not Important at all. Not one person, taking either survey answered Not very important at all!
Not Important at All
I really thought a few of those surveyed would have chosen that answer. I was betting all the folks who would take the survey were fellow students and I assumed most of you were in your thirties or younger. With that assumption I was thinking the younger you are the least likely you would be to use the USPS.
I was wrong on the assumption of age or perhaps my younger classmates chose not to participate. I was surprised that the average age category chosen on both surveys was 55 to 64? I could understand the average age of “The Check is in the Mail-2” survey would be older because I purposely asked that friends and family pass it on hoping for a Snowball result. That did not happen as the highest number of survey participants was 15, no snowball there, not even a small one.
Why two surveys? It was called to my attention that in the first survey, “The Check is in the Mail” the way in which I had posed questions 2, 3, 5 and 8 did not allow for all the possible answers. I created the questions thinking everyone visits their local post office and I assumed most everyone knows a lot about the USPS. Not true! So, I added an “I don’t know option and clarified the others. This exemplifies why researchers really need to think about the questions before we post a survey and open it to the public. We cannot assume every question is clear. To that end I will consider “The Check is in the Mail” a PRE-Test! “The Check is in the Mail-2” I will consider my RE-test.
The Results Are In
Results for “The Check is in the Mail-2” were a little surprising, here are the highlights: The highest age demographic taking the survey was 55 to 64 years of age. Of those 26.67% paid a bill using the US Postal Service in the same week. While another 26.67% can’t remember the last time they used the US Postal Service to pay a bill. (Perhaps due to their age!)
33% percent of those surveyed visited a post office this week, while another 33% went last month. That number might be higher than normal because I did not take into consideration the Christmas Holiday and therefore the number might be inflated. Across the board results for Question 4) How often do you purchase US Postage stamps resulted in 33% purchased every month, 33% purchased every six months and 33% purchase once a year.
66.67 % of those surveyed knew the correct price of a postage stamp which was impressive as the First-Class rate of potage had just gone up on January 26th and right before I posted the survey. 66.67% say they receive letter mail everyday while the same percentage receives a packages per month.
About half of those surveyed knew that the Postmaster General is Patrick Donahoe, while another half did not know who the Postmaster General was at all.
The last question asked was “When was the last time you wrote a letter or a card and sent it through the mail?” 54% said they mailed last month. 54% is most probably higher than at other times of the year as we just finished with the busiest time of the year for the USPS December. It would make sense to send out the survey once a quarter to see if the results differ.
The USPS is Important to Those Surveyed
The most important question in both surveys was “Please rate how important the US Postal Service to you?”
“The Check is in the Mail” 27.7% said it was Very Important while 63.64% said it was Important.
“The Check is in the Mail-2” 40% said it was Very Important while another 40% said it was Important.
In conclusion both surveys delivered good news for my organization. The USPS is Important or Very Important to those who took the survey. I thank everyone who participated and for their support of the United States Postal Service.
Just recently, and I mean very recently had I heard of “Vine.” I read about it as a requirement of a course I am currently taking on social media. In reading about Vine, (Twitters Sharing App) I learned that 5 new videos are tweeted every second which got my attention. Prompting me to eagerly visit Vine for the first time. About 3 hours later, I emerged bleary eyed and knowing first-hand what it was all about. Mesmerized by the “best of” series, which included people singing, scaring each other, cute animals and outlandish pranks. Thoroughly entertaining, yet I can’t help but conclude it’s just for fun.
I am happy to report the US Postal Service is, in fact, on You Tube. Some content is clearly placed there via USPS Corporate Communications while other videos are not. The Link on the bottom is an example of a locally made video that shows viewers what it’s like in a day of employment for a Letter Carrier. Nice job, but I can tell the content is not produced by the Official USPS Corporate Video library which can be viewed by clinking the first LINK.
With You Tube being more popular than ever and with 4 billion hours of viewing every month, it makes sense for my organization to begin paying much closer attention to this platform. Not so sure though that a USPS video could actually become “viral” except perhaps within our own community. I have tested the virility theory sharing the Postal Service’s recent TV commercial on my personal and class Facebook page without much interest or engagement. I also tried sharing a music video on my personal Facebook page and asked for views and shares in support of a personal cause and again, not much engagement. Evidence I am not quite hitting the mark yet.
On a personal note I use You Tube all the time as a search engine which supports the notion that it has not become the #2 Search Engine in the world of social media. You Tube has supplemented my course learning’s by adding the visual how-to which I needed so badly as navigating through the course materials. Many of the videos regarding how to “Word Press” are excellent. I have used You Tube to try and tackle a new Samsung camera and Logitech webcam; both still a work in progress. Videos are a great supplement to reading a book of instructions or owner’s manual. Who wants to read an owner’s manual when others are willing to do it for you, and put it on video, better yet? I say yeah for You Tube, so glad that it’s here as a resource. Plus there are wonderful videos of cats, kittens, and small furry and not so furry animals that are just plain cute.
Love this site too, very easy to use which is probably why Pinterest users are on the site an average of 98 minutes a month. After a quick search I was extremely happy to see the US Postal Service indeed has a Pinterest account. Although I am not sure yet how it’s populated I plan to find out going forward. I am also going to suggest that we definitely share holiday content this year on Pinterest. Holiday is the time to ship packages and many times it’s the women of the household who do the shipping. With that said we have an audience of woman in the age ranges of 25-54 who most likely would love to view holiday stamp images ahead to time along with a link to how to get Free Priority Mail boxes delivered right to their homes free of charge. Here is the Link to the USPS Pinterest board.
Lastly Photographs as discussed by C. C. Chapman. There are most definitely times when you need a professional photographer. I have learned this so many times throughout my career at the Postal Service the hard way. Not everyone is a photographer even when supplied with the very best of equipment. Of course I nice camera helps, but it does not make the shot. If you are reading this blog post you can view my photography skills under the Quick Shots 4 You section. Enough said…..