The Postal Service has developed an Academic Outreach program to reach future marketers and demonstrate the value of direct mail. The average consumer wants to move seamlessly between the physical and digital worlds…
…And yet, traditional marketing channels like direct mail are not often taught at the college level anymore.
The Postal Service in association with industry experts and educators developed college level course content about direct mail and its role in providing seamless experiences for consumers through integrated marketing. Our mission is to help educators prepare marketing students with the direct marketing skills they will need to compete after graduation. This program is designed to be a framework and can be used by topic, module, or in its entirety of 14 weeks.
Since the kick-off of Academic Outreach to the entire Postal Customer Council®, community during last May’s National Postal Forum, PCC members nationwide have reached out to local colleges and universities to develop relationships with the school’s marketing departments. This has led to us successfully re-introducing mail as a key part of a multi-channel marketing strategy to the college community at large. Several colleges have adopted parts of the content, and we continue to pursue others.
One key driver of colleges’ excitement for this program is the job opportunity for graduates. Leading up to last year’s PCC Day events in September, your survey responses demonstrated hiring happens almost every day of the year, all across the country, in our industry. This is a critical proof point supporting use of the curriculum content. Approximately 250 PCC Members shared their hiring plans for the year…but we know there are many more who we didn’t hear from – and that means this hiring number is likely even higher. The good news, this stat is sparking interest, and encouraging colleges, deans and professors to adopt parts or all of the curriculum.
Not surprisingly, we’ve learned that personal connections work the best in connecting with the professors/department chairs/deans. Without exception, when we connect with the people with these titles, we’ve been able to work with these schools to adopt the content. The challenge is getting to the right folks – so keep those leads coming, but try to leverage your PCC community’s personal relationships with people in the academic areas/titles that we’re targeting. Don’t have a relationship? It’s ok to build one!
Let us know if you have any great new leads or need support – either through submitting Academic Leads, or through our eMail inbox at: AcademicOutreach@usps.gov . Both through surveys and providing personal connections, you are helping strengthen the future of the mail industry. Let’s continue to plant the seeds that will produce an ever-growing mail industry of tomorrow.
So why engage the PCCs with the Academic Outreach initiative? As an industry, we are all affected by the larger decisions that marketers everywhere are making, about how they allocate their budgets and how they choose which marketing channels to use. If marketers and Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) aren’t aware of the power of mail and the importance of its role in effective multi- and omni-channel communications, they are less likely to choose mail as a channel, or seek out employees and resources who have this expertise.
By improving our outreach to Academic Institutions, and facilitating the inclusion of direct mail in higher-level curriculum, we can help facilitate the understanding of its value, and sustain long-term usage of mail. These decisions benefit everyone in the industry – from the marketer/mailer and ad agencies, to printers, technology providers, list brokers, data professionals, etc. – and to support the long-term stability of the Postal Service as well.
In order for Academic Outreach to work, it needs support from YOU! The PCCs are a vital link in this process. Here is how our PCC can benefit from supporting Academic Outreach:
By engaging and supporting the academic institutions within our PCC, we can build new relationships and help to not only engage our existing members, but to connect with new potential members, and grow our local PCC membership and engagement.
By encouraging our PCC members to support speaking engagements or live client projects, we can help support industry opportunities and relationships. Most universities and academic institutions have robust marketing efforts, so this is a great way to create connections and explore how our industry can support the needs of these institutions – both in the classroom and beyond!
By helping to support the educational opportunities of students in these disciplines, we all enrich the caliber of the graduating students – and help support the development pipeline for our new hires! This will help reduce the learning curve of new employees, and help expand the knowledge of the power of direct mail, where ever these students go to work!
The following collateral and videos are currently available:
• Downloadable brochure – This brochure can be shared with colleges and professors via mail or email to provide them with an introduction to the Integrated Direct Marketing coursework.
• Syllabus - Our mission is to help educators prepare marketing students with the direct marketing skills they will need to compete after graduation. This program is designed to be a framework and can be used by topic, module, or in its entirety of 14 weeks.
• PCC Handout – A two-page handout that gives PCC members an overview of their involvement in this Academic Outreach Initiative
Identify known connections with marketing and graphics communications professors.
Applications/ Forms 05/03/2018
PCCs can enter industry expert contact information here or forward a link to subject matter experts who are interested in speaking to marketing and graphics communications classes.
User Guides 09/18/2018
An outline of how the provided content was taught over a semester (14 weeks) class.
Coursework has been developed through a relationship with Bentley University to help teach students the skills that enable them to integrate direct mail in an integrated omnichannel marketing campaign.
In 2018 a trial student contest was initiated at Clemson with graphic communication students.
Direct Marketing: Creating Integrated Campaigns with Mail (Brochure) Including