Over lunch in the private room at DC’s BlackSalt, we found out how mail consultants keep the post office on their side and debated the art of the negative mailer. Trust us, it was a good thing there weren’t any media consultants there.

Politics: How would you all characterize the state of the political mail industry right now? Is it in some ways a dying medium?

Liz Chadderdon: I really don’t think so. I do think the next 10 to 15 years are going to be interesting, though. This new generation that’s all about Facebook now, will they be Facebooking at 40? If they are, that will obviously change the way we communicate with them. Right now I may have five email addresses, but if you want to catch me, I still get my bills in one place. So we’re not dying yet. And it seems like every time I turn around there’s another mail firm out there. I don’t feel that way about media and polling.

Steven Stenberg: I think the challenges in direct mail are no different from the challenges any other medium faces. In an increasingly cluttered world, it’s hard to capture people’s attention. There are certainly challenges with younger voters as it pertains to direct mail, but TV has that same problem.

Ed Traz: I think that’s true—the TV guys have to worry about DVR’s skipping commercials and YouTube. But I don’t think mail is dying. I think we need to adapt. Mail is going to become much more sophisticated and much more issue based. Gone are the days when you’re just rolling out 35,000 or 135,000 pieces on one issue. I think it’s going to be more segmented and more targeted moving forward. But we need to find a way to make that costeffective for our clients.