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Direct Effect – Making Direct Mail Academic
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At Domtar Paper, we celebrate those that strive to inspire and promote the effectiveness of print and mail.  As a new generation enters the workforce, it’s important to educate them on all marketing options, including direct mail. With this end in mind, the Postal Service launched Academic Outreach in 2018, which comprises advocates from the marketing industry, the mail industry and educational institutions.  This program addresses the need to educate college students about technologies that make integrating mail into digital campaigns more effective.

The Direct Effect™ Academic Outreach team works together with industry experts and educators to develop college-level course content about direct mail and its role in providing seamless experiences for consumers through integrated marketing. This full-semester course offering is titled the Direct Effect™ Direct Marketing Curriculum and is made available, free of charge, to colleges and universities. This customizable program is designed to be a framework and can be used by topic, a module or in its entirety of 14 weeks.

Academic Outreach has truly been a collaborative effort with strong endorsement from academia. Hear from Professor Wendy Zajack at Georgetown University about her experience with the materials in this course. The Postal Customer Council® (PCC) also supports Academic Outreach.  PCC members have reached out to local colleges and universities to promote the program to the school’s academia in marketing and related disciplines and  departments.  To date, the Direct Effect® curriculum has impacted students in over 80 schools nationwide, as Direct Effect® content has been incorporated into existing curricula or used to develop new courses.  Bentley, Georgetown, Clemson, Akron and Johns Hopkins are some of the Universities who had adapted the program.

The Direct Effect™ program is based on experiential learning, which is provided through Module 5 of the curriculum or through a Direct Effect Innovation Challenge where students receive applicable knowledge, have the opportunity to hear from a live client, develop and pitch their integrated marketing plans all in the course of a single day.

The program has already yielded success stories; a marketing graduate who participated in the program successfully pitched direct mail campaigns at a company that had not previously marketed through direct mail; Students who were previously unsure of their career paths found their calling in the mail and print industry after participating in Innovation Challenges; And industry partners have identified talent at Innovation Challenges and offered internships and jobs to participants.

With the potential face to face limitations for higher education in the upcoming school year, the Academic Outreach team is making alternative plans to keep the program viable. They are pivoting their materials to be more virtual friendly for the fall semester.

If you are responsible for the development of curriculum in the discipline of Marketing or a related study, such as Advertising, Graphic Design, Communications, Entrepreneurship and interested in adding this program to your department, contact the team at directeffect@usps.gov. They are available to support the integration of curriculum content, offer classroom content (classwork, lectures, etc.) and provide Irresistible Mail books that contain mailpieces demonstrating digital integration.

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