The Atlanta Journal-Constitution leverages a World Series victory for an operational win-win
- Atlanta, Georgia’s major daily newspaper
- Formed by the 1982 merger of two independent newspapers that had each been publishing since the late 1800s
- Focused on informing and empowering readers with real, rigorous, in-depth journalism
From time to time, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution helps local sports fans memorialize their team’s accomplishments by publishing one-off commemorative editions. In November 2021 and January 2022, special sections of the newspaper celebrated the championship wins of the Atlanta Braves and University of Georgia Bulldogs, respectively. When publishing these sections, the newspaper hands off mailing of purchases made online to Pitney Bowes Presort Services so that operations staff don’t have to work night and day calculating and affixing postage. This saves not just staff time, but also around 44 percent on postage costs — for a true operations win-win.
When the Atlanta Braves won the 2021 World Series, the city came out to celebrate. Fans lined the streets to watch the parade and filled Truist Park to see and hear from their favorite players. Meanwhile, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution decided to create special sections of the newspaper dedicated to the World Series–winning season.
“Initially we intended to just provide the special sections to our subscribers and make single copies available for sale at some brick-and-mortar retail outlets,” says Todd Cribb, senior manager of operations for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “But demand was outrageous. Customers were waiting in line for hours to buy them, and the retail outlets sold out very quickly.”
When the newspaper realized how high the demand was, management decided to sell additional copies online. “We had never sold sections online before,” Cribb says. “The next challenge was: How do we deliver a large volume of one-off publications?”
The newspaper offered multiple editions, each with a different page count. People ordered various numbers of copies, ranging from one to more than 10. And although many orders came from Georgia, some came from elsewhere, including locations around the world. Fulfillment was time-sensitive, and Cribb’s operations group was concerned about getting the thousands of orders to customers in a timely manner.
Launching the online order form opened the floodgates: The Journal-Constitution received around 6,000 orders in the first night alone. “We needed an alternative solution for these mailings,” he says. “Our staff typically does not handle applying stamps to envelopes. And we had a very quick turnaround to get the process set up and orders delivered to our customers.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reached out to Pitney Bowes Presort Services. “Pitney Bowes advised us on our mailing options,” Cribb says. “We decided to send the sections as Marketing Mail® parcels. It took about three days to get the account set up and prefunded with postage.” At that point, as orders came in, staff prepared parcels for mailing and affixed labels, then called Pitney Bowes to pick up, commingle and send.
Customers received their World Series special sections in about a week. “There was a big rush of orders that needed to be fulfilled right away,” Cribb says. “Then it tailed off, and Pitney Bowes was picking up once a week for a while. Eventually, we shut down the website, and that was that.”
In total, Pitney Bowes Presort Services mailed approximately 12,000 parcels commemorating the World Series victory. On average, the organization saved around 44 percent on postage costs by working with Pitney Bowes. And the operations team received a spreadsheet-based report showing each package’s mailing date and tracking number. Perhaps most importantly, the team did not have to manually calculate and apply postage to each package, nor cart parcels to the Post Office themselves. “Thanks to Pitney Bowes for saving the day. This was a good turnkey solution for us that fulfilled our needs,” affirms Cribb.
Cribb and his staff were so pleased with the service that when the Georgia Bulldogs won the College Football National Championship the following January, they again turned to Pitney Bowes Presort Services, this time to mail more than 16,000 commemorative editions.“
The Braves winning the World Series was a big win for Atlanta,” Cribb concludes. “And our partnership with Pitney Bowes Presort Services was a big win for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It provided a seamless solution for our delivery needs while guaranteeing our customers received their coveted special editions promptly — no doubt a big win for all."