Imagine you’re 18 years old. For your birthday, you get a bill for every expense you might incur for the rest of your life. Payment due immediately.

A bad joke? No, a congressional imposition on the U.S. Postal Service.

The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 mandates that the USPS pay out nearly $104 billion by 2016 to cover future health benefits of retired postal workers for the next 75 years. This outlandish financial burden, which no other government or private organization is forced to shoulder, has caused the USPS’s financial woes. Without the mandate, the Postal Service would be in the black by now—to the tune of $1.9 billion.

But under the guise of “saving” the Postal Service from insolvency, recent policy changes have slowed mail service, closed post offices and mail processing facilities, slashed hours of operation, and eliminated thousands of good jobs.

Pushing back against the threat to this vital public institution, the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) brought McKinney & Associates on board to help launch a public engagement campaign supporting its Grand Alliance to Save Our Postal Service

From the days of the American Revolution to the age of, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has kept us connected to the people and the businesses we value most. Throughout the campaign, our team built on that connection to frame the APWU’s vision of the Postal Service as an equitable, vibrant workplace that should remain a hub of community life well into the future.

Our work with APWU represented a return to our roots: McKinney has long supported the labor movement, beginning with our first retainer client, the Metropolitan Washington Council of the AFL-CIO. Over the course of 10 intense weeks, we provided APWU with message testing and brand development, video production, media strategy, a radio tour, and sustained strategic counsel. Based on our market research with union members and labor allies, we established a theme and visual brand: Our Postal Service: Yesterday, Today, FOREVER…A Public Trust. A National Treasure.


The highlight of the campaign was a video we produced with actor and activist Danny Glover, whose parents and sibling were postal workers. The three-minute video shared Glover’s insights about the value of the Postal Service as a creator of jobs and services for communities. He issued a stirring call to join the Grand Alliance to save our Postal Service.


Team McKinney mounted a traditional and social media blitz that took the video viral. Within a week, it had garnered hundreds of shares, likes, tweets and retweets, garnering a reach of more than 20 million. It was also seen by millions of television viewers during promos and intros for Glover’s appearances on Fox 5 DC and MSNBC’s The Ed Show.