USPS Suggests Publishers Take A Hike
Hainault also feels that more information has to be out there when it comes to the steps publications are taking to save the U.S. Postal Service money and how the postal system wants to work with publishers.
“I see a lack of communication between the two, when they should be partnering together,” he says. “Many publishers seem to feel like not trying that hard in their circulation practices because they feel like the hikes are coming no matter what. This hike only exacerbates that feeling.”
Rutter sees the U.S. Postal Service as comparable to City Hall—you can’t fight it, so why try?
“There’s no way to predict how high the hikes to follow will be after what they’re talking about now,” he says. “No one is happy about it, but we’ve been working with and lobbying the post office for years without a lot of success. It won’t affect our budget that much because we’ve already been limiting what we do with the post office. Other companies should do the same.”
One ray of postal hope is the possibility of the “forever stamp,” a locked-in postage rate that could be purchased now (at 42 cents if the Postal Service proposal is approved) and used forever, no matter the rates of the future. But with this still in the concept stage, most circulation directors would rather budget for probabilities than what-ifs. Regardless, Adenau says the second postal hike proposal has taught her to prepare for anything with the U.S. Postal Service, and she’s even learned to see its side of things.
“It’s similar to the gasoline hikes,” she says. “The prices we’re upset about are the same ones Europeans would be thrilled with. You can see why the post office went this way because they’re quasi-privatized and have been losing money for years. I guess they feel it’s our turn.”