Today’s note is not about the Oscar Wilde play written in the last few years of the 19th century. It is a directive for you to pay close attention to your timelines for your print/mail project.
As a rule of thumb, I use the following guidelines; 4-5 days to print, 3 days to mail out, and 3-5 days to get into the hands of the mail recipient (local mail). Keep in mind that weekends and holidays do not count.
Work backwards from the time you want people to have this in their hands. For example, if you want people to have it on May 1, you would want the piece ready to print by April 13.
We find one of the worst bottlenecks in the process is printing. That’s because the printer requires the piece-to-be-printed in a certain technical format, graphic design sometimes conflicts with postal regulations, approval of a final version takes time and the printer must divide the job into certain functions that cannot be completed in one day. Anyone of these reasons can cause a delay.
Many of our clients depend on volunteers. As well intentioned as they are, volunteers often do not adhere to the request for urgency. The remedy is for the project manager to stay in constant contact with those people who have taken on writing or editing functions, letting them know that they must adhere to the time frame. Be diplomatic but firm. I realize that there is a fine line between diplomacy and firmness, but it has to be done.
Do-Good.biz is at the end of the chain of all this. We are the last ones to handle the piece before it goes to the post office. Once it is delivered to the post office, we have no control. It is our opinion that the post office does a good job of delivering mail according to their standards, but there can be anomalies.
The best way to avoid disappointment with your project is to be aware of what needs to be done and when it needs to be done. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Never assume anything.
Consider Do-Good.biz a resource. We will advise you every step of the way, if you wish.
We hope you will have every success with your next project. Thank you for being associated with us!