Leading the way

The USPS Sales team is taking a different approach to its annual June #LEADtheWay sales leads campaign — starting with the name.

This year, June will be known as #LEADtheWayBack Month to encourage employees to focus on helping businesses get back on their feet following the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re hoping that the Postal Service can be a big part in getting America back to work and getting businesses thriving once more,” said Lou DeRienzo, small-business senior sales specialist at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC. “With many small businesses starting to think about reopening, we can help ensure their customers are aware that they are back and that they need support.”

The Sales team has set a goal for employees to generate 20,000 leads in June.

Leads can come from virtually anywhere — a restaurant that is reopening after being shuttered during a lockdown, a clothing shop that wants to promote a new line of face coverings, or a cleaning products company that uses a USPS competitor for its shipping needs.

Employees can pass on leads like these through several programs: Customer Connect (for letter carriers), Rural Reach (for rural carriers), Clerks Care (for retail associates and distribution clerks), Mail Handlers (for plant employees) and Submit a Lead (for everyone else, including Executive and Administrative Schedule employees).

The Sales Blue page has more information about each program.

Employees’ #LEADtheWayBack Month contributions will be added to the total for Race for a $Billion, a campaign that aims to raise $1 billion through employee-provided sales leads before the fiscal year ends Sept. 30.

The campaign has raised $709.2 million as of May 28, according to the Sales team’s latest weekly report.

“The Postal Service has always been there to support small businesses,” said Mary Anderson, small-business engagement director at USPS headquarters. “Our goal is to save Main Street USA and encourage everyone to support their local small businesses safely.”

Ceremonies canceled

The Postal Service has canceled the dedication ceremonies for the Enjoy the Great Outdoors and Hip Hop stamps due to social distancing guidance during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Enjoy the Great Outdoors stamps will still be available for purchase June 13, while the Hip Hop stamps will go on sale July 1.

Both Forever stamp sets will be released in panes of 20. Customers will be able to purchase them at Post Offices or usps.com.

The Postal Service announced the dedication ceremonies last month.

The organization has also canceled dedication ceremonies for other stamps this spring, including Voices of the Harlem Renaissance and Earth Day.

LGBT Pride Month

June is a time to honor the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the United States.

The annual commemoration is known as LGBT Pride Month, although some call it LGBTQ Pride Month in recognition of individuals who identify as queer or questioning.

The observance is held in June to commemorate the Stonewall uprising, when patrons and supporters at a gay-friendly tavern in New York City led a protest against persecution. The 1969 incident served as a rallying cry for the LGBT community to increase its visibility and efforts to advocate for equality.

The month typically features celebrations of LGBT history, achievements and identities. These activities often include the rainbow flag, a longtime symbol of the LGBT movement.

The Postal Service has honored several gay, lesbian and bisexual Americans with stamps through the years, including poet Walt Whitman, artist Ellsworth Kelly, astronaut Sally Ride, San Francisco elected official Harvey Milk and author James Baldwin.

The Library of Congress website’s LGBTQ Pride Month page has more information.