Snail Mail Still Has An Important Role To Play

June 23, 2011

Despite the many online communications options that are now available, there are still times when the old tried-and-true method of mailing printed materials is not only the best way to go – it’s the required way.  “Snail mail” is required by regulatory agencies for a variety of reasons, including initial notification of a proposed project, or updating an existing project that is under way.

Initial notifications are provided to landowners, occupants and residents and detail the project specifics, including a description of the project, information about the need for the project, and potential issues that may arise. Update letters can be sent quarterly or as needed, either providing information on the status of the application or on the construction or operation of the project.

It can be confusing as to what form of mailing is the best for the project, but based on Communica’s experience, we have created a simplified explanation of what form of consultation needs to take place, and what form of regulatory mailing best suits the requirements. As a basic rule of thumb, landowners, occupants and residents living within 500 metres of the project require personal consultation and confirmation of nonobjection. Local authorities, government and regulatory bodies, special interest groups and crown disposition holders within 1500 metres require notification of the project.

Once it has been determined who requires personal consultation and who only requires notification, the type of mailing to be used must be decided. Options include:

Regular MailFor notification only and for project updates.An economical, ground shipping service. Delivery is between two to nine daysRegistered Mail / Priority CourierFor initial notification of the project and for those who require personal consultation.All items are tracked, delivery times are guaranteed and their delivery status can be checked online. Delivery is between one and two business days (same province) or two and three days out-of-province. A signature is automatically requested.XpresspostThe signature option can be requested, and can be used for initial notification of the project or for those who require personal consultation.All items are tracked and their delivery status can be checked online. Delivery is between next morning and two days’ delivery Canada-wide.  A signature option can be requested.

In Alberta, ERCB Directive 56 outlines the consultation and notification requirements for facility category types; however. Communica is well versed in Directive 56 and the requirements that are outlined in it, and we can supply a complete suite of regulatory mailing services – from planning and management of mailings to comprehensive record-keeping for each mailout, to ensure compliance with regulatory audit requirements.