DMA's Prescott Urges PUASP to Admit Wider Postal Sector to Meetings
June 14, 2007 — Charles Prescott, DMA’s VP of Global Knowledge Services and chairman of the Consultative Committee of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), on Monday spoke via videoconference with members of the Postal Union of the Americas, Spain, and Portugal (PUASP) during its plenary meeting in Uruguay. Prescott encouraged PUASP members to admit private operators and the wider postal sector to their meetings, saying that this would allow members to hear “a perspective you would never hear unless you were discussing your business with, well, with businesses.”
Prescott further pointed out that Posts world-wide were subject to mounting pressure and dramatic changes in governance and structure as governments everywhere remove their monopoly protection, exposing them to competition in the market place.
Prescott went on to explain that the digital revolution and changes in communication and commercial messaging, or advertising, are reducing their letter volumes which they must replace with commercial direct mail, or cease to be relevant.
“With digitalization, Internet growth, and the spread of mobile telephones, you will not much longer have much mail volume, unless you capture your fair share of commercial messaging,” Prescott said. “You no longer have a monopoly on any mail, and especially not on direct commercial messaging mail. And I am not referring to your competitors’ taking mail away from you. I mean that direct mail is only one of the targetable commercial messaging devices available to business. They don’t need to use you. They can use the telephone; they can use the Internet. The can use movie theaters and radio, televisions, billboards, and magazines and newspapers. And if you aren’t helpful to business regarding direct mail, you have a very bleak and lonely future. You must create value for business customers by solving their problem, and this finding and selling to customers, or they will not use you. They will use other media.”
In urging admission of the wider postal industry community into PUASP, Prescott likened the UPU and PUASP to a trade association engaged in standard setting, credentialing, education, and advocacy, and whose activities included all players in an industry. Such associations, Prescott explained, are most successful and effective when they engage all competitors in dealing with the issues facing the sector.
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