Frame by frame

Customers can use a new social media feature to remind friends and family that free COVID-19 tests are available through the mail.

The Postal Service has introduced a social media frame that says “I got my COVID test kits delivered by USPS” on a fade-in light blue background, with the organization’s sonic eagle logo below that.

Social media frames allow users to frame their online portrait with a message or image that is meaningful to them.

USPS is only the second government agency to have a social media frame accepted by Facebook, according to Mary Beth Levin, the Postal Service’s social media strategy and analytics manager.

The first was the Department of Health and Human Services, and it was similarly COVID-19-related, she said.

The frame was a labor of love for Levin, who worked in public health before joining the Postal Service and even now teaches at Georgetown University as an associate professor of family medicine and community health.

Losing a team member to COVID-19 only added to the mission, she said, and with reports of coronavirus infections on the rise, the message is as timely as ever.

“The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive,” Levin said. Comments on the USPS Facebook page include:

• “Thank you for the tests, and the speedy, cheap deliveries throughout.”

• “Very thoughtful and needed service.”

• “Just placed our second order. Thank you for doing this a second time for households!”

• “Kind of makes you proud.”

“It’s been gratifying,” Levin said.

To create a frame, users simply click on their Facebook profile image, choose “add frame,” and then search for “USPS Test Kit.”

USPS has surrounded its sonic eagle logo with the frame for its own Facebook profile.

Frames must first be created on Facebook. The result can be imported to other social media sites if desired.

The Postal Service has delivered hundreds of millions of COVID-19 tests — 90 percent within two days — since February.

Amazing race

They trained.

They ran.

They won some mugs.

Team Pony Express, representing Postal Inspection Service and other USPS employees, successfully completed the B2V race, a two-day, 120-mile relay between Baker, CA, and Las Vegas.

“What an incredible adventure it was for all,” said Inspector in Charge Carroll Harris, a first-time participant who crossed the finish line during the early morning hours of April 10.

Harris and other team members won coveted trophy mugs for their performance in the race, which draws thousands of law enforcement professionals each year.

Dave McKenna, a postal inspector who has been involved with the B2V since 2005 and has led Team Pony Express since 2009, plans to step down and hand the leadership baton to this year’s co-captain, Kimberly Granger, a fellow inspector.

“When I look back on the challenges of this year’s race, I think of our team motto: ad astra per aspera, a Latin phrase meaning to the stars through hardships,” McKenna said.

Filter out the phish

Having a USPS email account means you’re part of a team responsible for keeping the organization’s network secure.

According to some estimates, the typical office worker receives almost 100 emails a day — and phishing messages are common.

To help keep your inbox safe, follow these tips:

  • Slow down: Pause and evaluate messages before acting. Be wary of “urgent” requests.
  • Verify senders: If an email is from an “[EXTERNAL]” address, proceed with extra caution.
  • Hover, don’t click: Ensure all hyperlinked descriptions match their destination by hovering your mouse over the link.
  • Beware of attachments: Don’t open or click on anything attached to a suspicious email.
  • Spell check: Spelling and grammar mistakes can indicate a phishing attempt.

Of course, knowing how to identify a phishing email is only half the battle. You must also report the message.

To do this, select the suspicious email — multiple messages can be selected, if needed — and click the “Report to CyberSafe” button in the Outlook toolbar. If the email is already open, the button will appear in the email toolbar as well.

If you don’t see the “Report to CyberSafe” button in your Outlook toolbar, you can install the add-on by following the instructions on the USPS ServiceNow website.

News Briefs

Scanning snapshot

Scanning snapshot. A snapshot of Postal Service scanning data shows the national rating was 97 percent during the week ending May 20, down 0.2 percent from one week earlier.

The data was collected May 25.

Southern led the four areas with a rating of 97.11 percent, while WestPac ranked last with a 96.92 percent rating.

Among the 50 districts, Washington, part of WestPac, ranked first with a 98.15 percent rating, while Colorado-Wyoming, also part of WestPac, ranked last with a 93.74 percent rating.

Scanning data allows customers to track their mail and packages, which helps USPS deliver excellent service, boost loyalty and drive revenue.

To see the latest data, go to the Informed Visibility website and select “Customer Experience,” followed by “DES 2 Scan Performance.” Postal Service employees must request Informed Visibility access through eAccess.

Delivery data. From April 1-May 13, the Postal Service delivered 93.4 percent of First-Class Mail on time when compared with the organization’s service standard, according to data released last week.

During the same period, USPS delivered 95 percent of Marketing Mail and 86.7 percent of Periodicals on time, the figures show.

Postal Bulletin. Postal Bulletin’s May 19 edition offers safe lifting techniques for postal workers, along with the latest updates to USPS policies, procedures and forms.

Got news? Email your submissions to uspslink@usps.gov.