Millennials Get Blamed for a Lot, But They Could Help to Save the U.S. Postal Service

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iStock

Millennials get a bad rap for destroying everything from homeownership rates to fabric softener sales, but there's one important traditional industry they're enthusiastic about: the U.S. Postal Service. According to CityLab, a new USPS report [PDF] finds that young people's appreciation for snail mail could help boost the often-struggling agency's fortunes in the future.

Probing for insights into the minds of young people ages 18 to 34 (a little off from the Pew Research Center's definition of Millennials as being people ages 22 to 37), the USPS conducted surveys and hosted live chats online to figure out what Millennials think of the agency, and how the Postal Service can ignite their love of snail mail.

That's vital, because as it is, technological innovations like email and online bill payments are putting the USPS out of business. It lost money for the 11th year in a row in 2017, and while shipping packages is getting more popular (thank you, online shopping habits), it hasn't been enough to offset the decline of mail during that year—mail rates declined by 50 billion pieces in 2017. Young people ages 18 to 34 received an average of 17 pieces of mail each week in 2001, while they only receive 10 now.

But Millennials, it turns out, love mail, even if they don't want to pay their bills with it. As the report observes, "many Millennials still delight in receiving personalized notes or cards around holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions." Three-quarters of respondents said that getting personalized mail from friends and family "makes them feel special." According to the report, around 80 percent of Millennials say they're satisfied with the USPS, around the same rate as older, stamp-loving generations. More Millennials than Boomers, meanwhile, have a USPS.com account, and 59 percent say that the USPS is an innovative organization.

Millennials mentioned several ideas for USPS improvements that already basically exist, like self-service kiosks, at-home package pickup, and Informed Delivery emails, meaning the Postal Service isn't always the best at getting the word out about the cool things it already does. The report also shows that the Postal Service is still working on an augmented reality service that could give you a look at what's inside a package before you open it. (The idea debuted in 2016, but the app was largely limited to showing animated messages.)

The surveys and discussions did come up with a new idea to endear the post office to Millennials: a rewards program. The young people surveyed suggested that members could earn points by buying stamps or mailing packages and use them to redeem discounts or enter contests.

Millennials: They may be ruining vacations, but at least they're ready to save the mail.

[h/t CityLab]

We’re Hiring a Social Media Editor/Manager

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iStock/ComicSans

We're looking for a Social Media Editor to join the award-winning Mental Floss team in our New York City offices. Mental Floss has won Webby Awards (three!), lost ASME Awards (thrilled to be nominated!), and published 15 books and five board games. Our YouTube channel has 1.3 million subscribers, our Facebook page is liked by 2.4 million people, our Twitter feed has 685,000 followers, and we reach 13 million people a month through mentalfloss.com. Our goal is to find fascinating stories and bring them back to our readers. The kind of stories that readers will want to share, both via social media and beyond. Can you help us tell them?

Social Media Editor

The Social Media Editor will strengthen Mental Floss’s relationship with our current readership and, using both creative editorial knowledge and data analytics, help us find ways to introduce the brand to new audiences and markets. This person will be responsible for overseeing all of the brand’s social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more.

In addition to bringing Mental Floss’s voice to both existing and emerging platforms, the Social Media Editor will:

  • Develop all social media strategies and audience engagement efforts;
  • Write, schedule, and publish captivating daily social content, with a focus on driving traffic and conversion and boosting audience engagement;
  • Interpret data and analytics to inform the content we create and promote, and submit detailed weekly and monthly social media performance reports;
  • Have impeccable writing skills, strong attention to detail, and a thorough knowledge of social media platforms and analytics;
  • Work with both editors and writers to track and suggest news stories and, if desired, have the chance to pitch and write stories for the site;
  • Help maintain current content partnerships with other organizations and influencers and look for additional opportunities that could be beneficial to the brand.

Ideal candidates will have:

  • At least 3 years previous social media experience at a publisher or entertainment brand (writing experience is a plus);
  • Fluency on all current social media platforms and eagerness to keep informed of all emerging platforms and digital tools;
  • Graphic design experience and intermediate/advanced level Photoshop skills;
  • Expertise in interpreting data to make metrics-based editorial and promotional decisions;
  • Clear understanding of key social metrics like CPM, reach, engagements, and how to analyze the outcomes and trends on social media pages;
  • Excellent time management skills, the ability to prioritize, and a high level of attention to detail;
  • Energetic, positive written voice;
  • Sound editorial judgment and ability to frame articles and videos for social promotion;
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment.

How to Apply

Just click here!

About Us

Blending the utility of education and joy of entertainment, Mental Floss is a community for curious minds. Our readers are passionate about learning but choosy with their attention. With a unique perspective that’s equal parts nerdy, worldly, and funny, we serve them by mining history, science, and culture for amazing facts and incredible stories, and packaging these in the most engaging forms that digital and social media offer today. We publish lists on pretty much every topic, from pop culture (“9 Unbelievable Movie Fan Theories That Turned Out to Be True”) and travel (“4 Spectacular Shipwrecks You Can Dive Near Chicago”) to science (“7 Amazing Facts About the Amygdala”) and food (“8 Forgotten Pie Recipes We Should Bring Back”). You can also find answers to life’s big questions (why isn’t there a B battery, and what are those white marks on your fingernails?!) and features about subjects like the hidden room behind Mount Rushmore; the history—and disappearance—of waterbeds; and the Apollo 11 astronaut who was allergic to the Moon.

Mental Floss was founded in a dorm room in 2001, and since then, we’ve grown to become a premier knowledge brand: 13 million users visit us online each month, our Facebook videos receive more than 30 million views, and our YouTube channel has more than 1 million subscribers.

We're Hiring a Video Producer/Editor!

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iStock/relif

Mental Floss is seeking a full-time video producer/editor to join our team in New York City. Our goal is to find fascinating stories and bring them back to our readers. The kinds of stories people want to share, and not just in the social media sense. There are so many incredibly interesting things out there. Can you help us uncover them?

Video Producer/Editor

This person will produce and edit multiple videos a week for our site and other platforms, contribute to brainstorming sessions, and see each video through every stage of production to the final product.

This includes:

  • Pitching video ideas and planning their execution
  • Shooting in studio and on location
  • Lighting shoots in studio and on location
  • Recording audio
  • Editing video
  • Creating text and basic motion graphics

Ideal candidates will be ambitious, detail-oriented, and deadline-driven, and comfortable being a key player on a team as well as managing independent projects. They will have solid technical and production skills, and are equally comfortable shooting and editing. A sense of humor, wit, and the proclivity to pitch in and do whatever needs doing to get the job done are essential.

Requirements

  • 2-6 years experience making short-form digital videos
  • Experience shooting, lighting, and audio recording in the studio and on location
  • Experience editing videos
  • Proficiency in Adobe Premiere, After Effects, and Photoshop
  • A knowledge of “what works” across platforms — but also an inclination to push the boundaries and innovate
  • Strong writing skills
  • Bonus points if you have animation and graphic design experience
  • If we bring you in for an interview, we’ll also ask you to do a video editing test.

How to Apply

Just click here!

About Us

Blending the utility of education and joy of entertainment, Mental Floss is a community for curious minds. Our readers are passionate about learning but choosy with their attention. With a unique perspective that’s equal parts nerdy, worldly, and funny, we serve them by mining history, science, and culture for amazing facts and incredible stories, and packaging these in the most engaging forms that digital and social media offer today. We publish lists on pretty much every topic, from pop culture (“9 Unbelievable Movie Fan Theories That Turned Out to Be True”) and travel (“4 Spectacular Shipwrecks You Can Dive Near Chicago”) to science (“7 Amazing Facts About the Amygdala”) and food (“8 Forgotten Pie Recipes We Should Bring Back”). You can also find answers to life’s big questions (why isn’t there a B battery, and what are those white marks on your fingernails?!) and features about subjects like the hidden room behind Mount Rushmore; the history—and disappearance—of waterbeds; and the Apollo 11 astronaut who was allergic to the Moon.

Mental Floss was founded in a dorm room in 2001, and since then, we’ve grown to be a premier knowledge brand: 13 million users visit us online each month, our Facebook videos receive more than 30 million views, and our YouTube channel has more than 1 million subscribers.

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