GCA Welcomes U.S. Postmaster General to Annual Convention
For the first time in its 76-year history, the U.S. Postmaster General spoke with the GCA membership at its annual Convention.
Underscoring the significance of the greeting card industry in the eyes of the USPS, U.S. Postmaster General and CEO Megan Brennan addressed GCA Annual Convention attendees in San Diego in mid-October. Brennan began her tenure in February 2015 following her appointment by the Postal Board of Governors. Her focus: advancing transformative strategies to investing in the future of the USPS and to shape growth opportunities for it and the industries it serves. Among the strategies she highlighted: better use of data and technology, speeding the pace of product and service innovations, continuing to improve processes and fully leveraging the talents of the USPS workforce.
“Know that the USPS is a fan of the Greeting Card Association and having cards in the mail,” said Brennan.
Experts Offer Insights, Tips at GCA’s Annual Convention:
Leading industry experts – from Kelly Edmondson of band.o to Patrick Spear at the Global Market Development Center and John Smyth from A. Smyth Co. – covered a range of topics from branding to managing and the creative process – to name a few. Congratulations to Annual Convention Chair Glen Biely for an outstanding (and financially successful) event.
A special thank you also to GCA Associate members who joined us at the Annual Convention, and shared their capabilities, products and expertise with us at their table top displays. Thanks to Bridgeman Images, Exclusive Bordering, Fixture Resource Group, Hodgins Engraving, Infinity Foils, Inc., J.S. McCarthy, Leader Paper, Mohawk, Neenah Paper, The National Stationery Show, Stationery Trends Magazine, The Occasions Group, Universal Engraving and Universal Presentation Concepts.
And of course, the GCA owes a big thank you to the 2017 Annual Convention sponsors: Diamond Sponsors: American Greetings, Hallmark; Platinum Sponsors: Dayspring, Papyrus Recycled Paper Greetings; Gold Sponsors: Designer Greetings, Leanin’ Tree, National Stationery Show; Silver Sponsors: Neenah Paper, Universal Presentation Concepts, Up With Paper and Bronze Sponsors: Avanti, Birchcraft Studios by DFS and Fixture Resource Group. Contact information and links to all of these Associate members may be found in our GCA member directory, at https://www.greetingcard.org/member-directory/.
See you in Cleveland! Planning is already underway for the 2018 Annual Convention in Cleveland – which will include a tour of the new American Greetings headquarters. Chair Alana Campana and co-Chair Lawrence Yeh look forward to seeing you there.
GCA Teams Up with USPS for Holiday Card Campaign
The GCA is joining forces with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) on a new, cooperative, holiday marketing campaign to promote the buying and sending of greeting cards. Through the campaign, the GCA and the USPS seek to increase mail volume and greeting card sales, and promote the positive impact of sending and receiving cards.
Building on the Postal Service’s “More than a Package” campaign, the USPS knows that a card is “more than a card:” it’s the personal connection between sender and recipient. The campaign is running throughout this holiday season and incorporates some of the best and creative cards provided by GCA member companies – large and small – from throughout the country. Thank you to all GCA members who submitted cards for use in the campaign. For the full list of participating companies, see https://www.greetingcard.org/usps-2017-holiday-marketing/. As our members know, card companies offer a wide array of cards across different price points to meet the needs of today’s diverse consumers (and some cards are a card and a gift in one package!). And a wide variety of cards are being featured in social media and elsewhere. Watch for the ads on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and in other media. All GCA-member companies are encouraged to use, display and refer to campaign materials on their company websites and other platforms.
“Clearly, this campaign also will benefit card retailers of all shapes and sizes,” said executive director Peter Doherty. “It’s another example of how the GCA supports its members, the broader industry and a healthy USPS that delivers mail six days a week,” he said.
Three videos kick-off the campaign to remind consumers that sending a card is the deepest way of connecting with friends and family this holiday season. Each video focuses on a different aspect of card buying and sending. For example, for many consumers, the holidays begin with a card. The GCA and its member companies – through various “influencers,” offer card sending tips. The third video encourages consumers to highlight creative ways to display the cards they receive. Card senders understand the feelings of the recipient: an unexpected surprise or a handwritten note to show how much the sender cares. And the sender appreciates the feeling she (or he) gets when putting pen to paper and crafting the perfect sentiment. In other words, it’s “more than a card.”.
An introductory kick-off webinar was held on November 29, with Dean Rodenbough of Hallmark Cards, Inc. and Chris Karpenko of the USPS’s Marketing Group participating as speakers. A recording of this webinar, which explains the campaign in detail, will be available soon at https://www.greetingcard.org/usps-2017-holiday-marketing/.