Getting the word out

The Postal Service used Informed Delivery last week to provide subscribers with helpful information about the coronavirus pandemic.

Informed Delivery is a free notification feature that allows consumers to receive digital images of their incoming mail. Users can see the images in a digest emailed to them or through an online dashboard.

On March 14, USPS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) distributed an emergency alert about the coronavirus to Informed Delivery’s 23.5 million subscribers.

The message, which was available in both subscribers’ email digests and the online dashboard, provided recipients with a link to a CDC website where they could get the latest information about the pandemic.

This marked the first time USPS used Informed Delivery for a national alert with no associated mailpiece.

“The Postal Service has the unique capability to provide this type of messaging during national emergencies like the pandemic we are experiencing. It’s another example of how Informed Delivery provides subscribers with timely, relevant information,” said Carrie Bornitz, Informed Delivery’s program manager.

In addition to Informed Delivery, the Postal Service is providing information about the pandemic on other digital platforms, including articles on the Link news site, Blue and LiteBlue pages with employee resources, and service alerts on usps.com.

Employees can sign up for Informed Delivery at informeddelivery.usps.com.

Travel limitations

The Postal Service is limiting all business-related travel.

USPS leaders will only approve travel requests that are critical to the organization’s mission, require the traveler’s physical presence and cannot be postponed.

The policy took effect March 17 and will last until May 11, although it could be extended. The Postal Service instituted the policy following the guidance of public health experts during the coronavirus pandemic.

“While we believe the risk to our employees throughout the country is low, we are deferring to the recommendations of the public health experts,” Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan wrote in a memo announcing the policy. “Our focus is on keeping our employees safe and healthy while still fulfilling our service obligations to the American people as a critical component of our nation’s infrastructure.”

Employees who have questions should speak to their manager or supervisor.

World of difference

The Postal Service wants employees to remember the differences between Election Mail and Political Mail.

Election Mail refers to mail that allows individuals to participate in the voting process, such as ballots for domestic or international delivery.

Political Mail falls into two different categories: Political Campaign Mail and Political Message Mail.

Political Campaign Mail is mail used for political campaign purposes by a registered political candidate, a campaign committee or a political party.

Political Message Mail is mail from a Political Action Committee (PAC), super PAC or other organization engaging in issue advocacy or voter mobilization.

There are different tagging requirements for Election Mail and Political Mail that move through the postal network.

During the 2018 midterm elections, USPS delivered 3 billion pieces of Political Mail, a record.

“We are clearly in a ‘mail moment’ and this trend will only continue to increase,” said Don Nichols, the national lead for USPS political and mailing services.

The Election Mail and Political Mail Blue page has more information.

Cover story

“News Quiz” is a weekly feature that lets you test your knowledge of recent Link stories. The correct answers appear at the end.

1. Fill in the blank: Approximately (blank) USPS employees are covered by the organization’s new contract with the American Postal Workers Union.

a) 100,000
b) 200,000
c) 300,000
d) 400,000

2. True or false: If you have a Postal Service-issued Voyager card, don’t use it to buy food, drinks, or fuel for a personal vehicle.

a) True
b) False

3. For how many consecutive years has USPS been named the top government agency for multicultural business opportunities by Omnikal?

a) Six
b) Seven
c) Eight
d) Nine

4. Which Link column was recently honored in the Ragan’s Employee Communications Awards competition?

a) “About the Business”
b) “Best Practices”
c) “Heroes’ Corner”
d) “On the Job”

5. Whose painting is featured on the new Maine Statehood Forever stamp?

a) Edward Hopper
b) Ellsworth Kelly
c) Martín Ramírez
d) Andrew Wyeth

Answers: 1) b. 2) a. 3) d. 4) c. 5) a.