Crisis comms lessons from the United States Postal Service

If you ever feel overwhelmed by the prospect of keeping all your employees in the loop, talk to Nicolas Sucich.

Sucich, director of digital communications for USPS, has been with the sprawling agency for nearly 23 years. He’s endured multitudes of stressful events during his tenure, though 2020 threw curveballs that would baffle even the most battle-tested communicators among us.

He shared insights on how to manage and mitigate crises—while keeping employees informed, safe and motivated—at Ragan’s 2021 Internal Communications and Culture Next Practices Conference on Thursday, Feb. 25.

As you might imagine, internal comms at USPS is a complex venture. The agency has more than 630,000 employees—the second largest civilian workforce behind Walmart—and about 500,000 of them lack “direct digital access,” according to Sucich. Most are either on the road delivering mail, or in one of USPS’ 30,000+ post offices or 350 mail sorting facilities.

Communicating with so many frontline workers presents a slew of challenges, even in the best of times. And then came 2020.

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