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Good tidings

Press finds USPS prepped for peak

Glenside, PA, Postmaster Christopher Policano talks about package volumes and mail-by dates with a reporter from a Philadelphia TV station.

The Postal Service is rising to the challenge of a busy holiday season — and news outlets across the nation are taking notice.

Several stories have focused on how the organization’s new sorting and delivery centers (such as the one in Athens, GA) and new regional processing and distribution centers (such as the one in Charlotte, NC) are handling holiday parcels at a record clip thanks to technological improvements under the Delivering for America plan.

Appreciative behind-the-scenes segments showed postal workers hard at work in bustling USPS facilities around the nation: Philadelphia; Los Angeles, Detroit; Albuquerque, NM; Dulles, VA; Jersey City, NJ; and Bethlehem, PA, to name a few.

USPS Operation Santa, now in its 111th year, enjoyed widespread coverage in markets big and small, but perhaps nothing as impressive as the spread in the print edition of USA Today, with the majority of the Nov. 20 front page dedicated to the effort.

“The USPS Operation Santa coverage has been wonderful,” said Sue Brennan, a USPS senior public relations representative. “This is a warm and fuzzy subject the media loves to cover.”

With the Postal Service in the midst of an organization-wide effort to educate the public about the dangers of hazardous materials in the mailstream, USA Today, Michigan’s WKFR-FM and Staten Island, NY’s offered timely public service articles on what not to send in the mail.

There were the usual stories about holiday shipping recommendations and stamp offerings, and features about special postmarks from towns such as Noel, MO; Nazareth, MI; Joy, IL; and Santa Claus, IN.

USPS forgoing holiday surcharges was widely reported, as was the organization’s hiring of 10,000 seasonal workers.

“This our season. We come in prepared to make sure to get everyone’s packages out and make it a great holiday,” Roslyn Bowes, senior plant manager at the Philadelphia Processing and Distribution Center, told CBS Philadelphia.