by Stephen Tharp
A full-service marketing and mail company based in Clearwater, FL has found innovative ways to expand, despite the direct influence of the failing United States Postal Service.
Founder, owner, and CEO Joy Gendusa leads PostcardMania as the nation’s first full-service direct mail marketing company. Although Gendusa’s business is heavily affected by increasing postal rates of the USPS, it has been an inspiration and model for small business success all over the country.
Pinellas County’s PostcardMania offers businesses across the country postal service alternatives to the rigid, impractical USPS. With the exception of 2009, PCM (as it is known internally and to its clients) has resisted the recession and actually seen gains in each of the last three fiscal cycles. Creative new practices, such as bundling their customer’s mailings together to get everyone a better price, have been a major incentive for people to do business with PCM. When asked how PCM has been successful in hard economic times, Operations Analyst Richard Lander said, “PCM practices what it preaches. We send out over 100,000 postcards each week to promote our business.”
Coming off a tough year in 2009, PCM sent out just under 13 million postcards in the second quarter of 2010. By 2011, the company was mailing over 20 million postcards per quarter on a consistent basis and has continued to do so. On the contrary, the USPS posted a $5.2 billion loss in the third quarter of 2012. That is up from the $3.1 billion loss of the same quarter in 2011. The USPS was also forced to default on $11.2 billion in prefunding loans for its retiree benefits programs in 2012 alone. The USPS is a constitutionally guaranteed service that essentially has a monopoly on the flow of mail traffic throughout the country.
Entering into internet marketing and website development PCM created another revenue stream. In 2009, major economic downturn and widespread panic flooded the U.S. market. When many companies were laying off employees, PCM implemented a new telemarketing department, entirely dedicated to generating new interest and sales for the company. The program continues to be a success. Gendusa and company have chosen to be proactive rather than reactive, and that continual attitude has been a significant factor in PCM’s success.
Along with having a unique business concept and proven successful results with their clients, PCM continues to grow because of the positive culture of the company. The official purpose of the organization includes the words, “Maintain a light and fun atmosphere.” This is evident when visiting the workplace. The employees are tightly knit, openly supportive, and encouraging to one another. PCM also has a reputation of promoting from within. This practice gives its employees a real sense of possibility and opportunity for growth with the company. The employee’s sense of confidence in PCM’s mission keeps the company morale high and in turn delivers better service and results to their clients.
Although, doubt and reservation in the U.S. economy still linger, PCM demonstrates that it is still possible to strike out on your own and have major success, despite the lack of help coming from the federal government. The American dream may not be guaranteed, but PostcardMania shows it is still attainable.
Stephen Tharp is originally from East Tennessee, but has lived in the Tampa Bay area since the mid 1990s. He currently works for a marketing company in Clearwater, Florida. He is a student of mass communications at St. Petersburg College, with the goal of starting a career in public relations or journalism after graduating.