How to Prepare & Mail Neighborhood Association Postcards

The city budget puts aside money each biennium in a city account to support the printing and mailing of neighborhood association postcards. The city has a contract with Buels Impressions Printing, who prints the cards and sends them to a third-party mailer through a bulk rate permit. Neighborhood Associations prepare the draft postcard with their own graphic design program.

The bulk rate offers a more affordable option for postcard mailing. However, bulk rate also provides more time for the Post Office to mail out an item, hence the savings.

Each neighborhood has different goals of when they want the postcards to arrive. Some like them earlier, some like them closer to the meeting date. Either approach works if you know the factors that drive when a postcard gets mailed.

  • 1st Factor - City review of content to ensure no political speech. City funds cannot be used for political speech. Example: while you can announce that a candidate is coming to your meeting- you can't encourage people to vote for that candidate or particular measure on your postcard. Christina Robertson-Gardiner (email Hannah Schmidt) needs 2 to 3 days (Monday through Friday) to review the postcard and get the updated mailing labels to Buels with the work order. If you get an out-of-office email from Hannah, that is more than that period - please email Jarrod and we will work with Buels to get your order in.
  • 2nd Factor - The city contract with Buels gives them 2 to 3 days (Monday through Friday) to print out the cards. They usually can get it completed the next day - but if they are busy, they may need all three days allowed to them
  • 3rd Factor - Once printed, Buels sends the cards to a third-party mailer who has 2 to 3 days (Monday through Friday) to get them to the Post Office.
  • 4th Factor - Post Office bulk rate has a 5 to 7 day timeline (Monday through Sunday) for mailing. Please note: they control this process, and sometimes postcards are mailed on different days.

Postcard Emails to Jarrod / Buels

Buels can hold completed postcards for a couple of days and release them to the 3rd party mailer if you give them a date that you want them to be sent to the Post Office. When you are preparing your postcards please keep these dates in mind. If you have a specific date you would like the postcards to be sent to the Post Office; please let Jarrod and Buels know that in your email, and review the four factors above before you give them the date to ensure you have enough lead time. Please also make sure to account for State and Federal holidays in your calculation.

If you are unable to make the intended postcard date, and still want to proceed with the mailing, your Neighborhood Association can choose to pay the difference for 1st class postage. You will work directly with Buels on the bill for the difference. Please note that 1st class postage is about 15 cents more per postcard.

The following is an example email to Jarrod/Buels you can use:

Hi Jarrod,

Enclosed you will find the postcard for the November 21, 2019 Rivercrest Neighborhood Association Meeting.

Please have these postcards sent to the Post Office on November 6, 2019, or;

Please have these postcards sent to the Post Office as soon as possible.

Thank you.