USPS-HBO effort touts the 'Power of the Letter'

WASHINGTON, DC: The US Postal Service (USPS) has partnered with HBO to launch a letter writing campaign, based on the channel's new John Adams miniseries.

 

WASHINGTON, DC: The US Postal Service (USPS) has partnered with HBO to launch a letter writing campaign, based on the channel's new John Adams miniseries.

 

Through the “Power of the Letter” campaign, the organization is publicizing the sentimental value of personal correspondence and the historical significance of handwritten letters, such as the more than 1,100 correspondences between Adams and his wife, Abigail, in early US history.

USPS launched poweroftheletter.com, decorated its own Web site (usps.com), and sent educational materials to more than 1 million high-school students beginning Feb. 5.

USPS officials hope the campaign will educate children, who are more familiar with electronic communications than letter writing, said spokeswoman Sue Brennan.

The campaign also features an internal communications component. USPS recorded an interview with historian David McCullough, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book John Adams, the basis for the miniseries, which it will distribute to employees.

USPS used its internal PR for the campaign, which is estimated to cost HBO about $1 million. The network partnered with Civic Entertainment Group to market the miniseries.

The miniseries, which was scheduled to begin with back-to-back episodes on March 16 will run through April 20.

“In this day of e-mail and text messaging, there really is something to be said about how personal a letter is,” she said. “They can't be deleted by hitting a button, and they can be held and read over and over again for years – McCullough made this point so eloquently when he wrote this book.”

USPS is using an Adams quote, “Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write,” as its cancellation notice, hoping to mark 3 billion used stamps with it by the March 30 close of the campaign.

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