Bringing the Traditional Postcard into the Digital Age: Interview with Oliver Kray from Crossmedia Service Provider of the Year MyPostcard
The German Druck&Medien Awards were presented at the beginning of November 2022. The winner of the drupa-sponsored Crossmedia Service Provider of the Year category is MyPostcard. We spoke to the founder Oliver Kray.
Every year the magazine Der Deutsche Drucker (print.de) presents the Druck&Medien Awards and the official ceremony is one of the highlights of the German printing community. For the 18th awards ceremony, hosted by Laura Wontorra, the industry came together on the evening of 10 November 2022 to honour the best of the best in 25 different categories. As a long-standing partner of the event, drupa is also sponsoring an award: This year, MyPostcard is the winner of the Gold Award in the section Crossmedia Service Provider of the Year!
In our exciting interview, founder Oliver Kray will give you insights into the idea that led to the creation of MyPostcard, what’s behind it as well as how the service deals with the important topic of sustainability in the printing industry.
1. Tell us something about yourself to start with!
I’m Oliver, the founder and CEO of MyPostcard. MyPostcard is an app that allows you to send your photos as real, printed cards worldwide. We were officially founded in Berlin in 2014, but we have become fully international now and have an office in New York and a network of freelancers all over the world.
2. How did the idea for MyPostcard come about?
That’s interesting, because I actually had the idea during my vacation in 2013 – which is exactly the case most users use the app for. I was in Greece, had a lot of photos on my phone, and wanted to send them not only via messenger, but to go the classic way by postcard – which is way more personal. I found out that the service of personalized postcards was already offered at that time, but these services did not work well and were rather a side offer by the providers. So I came back to Berlin and decided to make the best postcard app and founded mypostcard.com.
“A Service That Can Keep up With the Digital Speed, but at the Same Time Also Comes With Haptic Sensory Impressions”
3. “MyPostcard brings the traditional postcard into the digital age”: What technologies do you rely on to offer such a personalized service?
As the sentence says – it works so well because MyPostcard represents a combination of analog and digital. We offer a service that can keep up with the digital speed, but at the same time also comes with haptic sensory impressions. Personal words and pictures that can be touched and felt are remembered for a long time and evoke very special emotions.
Strong partnerships made it possible in the first place to raise MyPostcard as a company to the level that it is today. For years, Deutsche Post has been an important pillar of our service. Since 2020, we have also been offering customizable stamps with them.
Our partner printing house in Berlin, with whom we have a friendly relationship, supports us immensely in product development and process management. They enable us to work in an innovation-driven way, as we have been doing for years.
Our motto is to never stand still and always look for new trends. In the end, it is a mix of a harmonizing team as well as good organization and our large network of printing houses and partners worldwide.
4. You maintain many renowned partnerships and show social engagement. Which project do you remember particularly fondly?
My favorite project was our “1 Million Postcards Against Corona” campaign at the end of 2020. Not least, of course, due to the fact that we were really faced with a huge challenge with the onset of the pandemic. At that time postcards from vacations accounted for a large share of our sales, which suddenly collapsed. But we didn’t bury our heads in the sand during this difficult time. We stuck together as a team and saw a new kind of responsibility for ourselves.
Because despite the fact that it was difficult to travel during the pandemic, one thing remained still important: to feel close to others and to stay in contact.
In December 2020, together with Deutsche Post AG, we offered 1 million postcards free of charge. We created almost 100 designs for this campaign. Under the motto #FürMichFürUns, we wanted to make it possible for Germans to tell their grandparents, relatives, friends, colleagues, etc. that they are thinking of them and what they are looking forward to. The postcards could be sent free of charge and personalized with their own photos. In addition, ready-made designs were offered, which were only missing the personal text. The campaign ran very successfully, it wasn’t only extended several times, it also won a number of prizes. But more importantly, we proved that we could withstand a crisis and also grow from it.
5. MyPostcard has received numerous awards in recent years and has positioned itself internationally: What is your secret to success?
I see us as a massively emotionally charged service. With MyPostcard, you remember your loved ones on their birthday or send them greetings when you miss them. I also firmly believe that users sense when you are passionate about something.
Over the years, we’ve developed a real MyPostcard vibe that my team and I really live by. And of course, it’s the jackpot when this feeling of innovative strength and joy in the product is also honored by the community.
“The Printing Industry Has a Pioneering Role When it Comes to Sustainability”
6. What does the drupa Award for Crossmedia Service Provider of the Year mean to you?
We were super surprised at that moment and were incredibly happy. We took part in the Druck&Medien Awards for the first time this year and realized how important this prize is for the printing industry. Receiving an award with your own company has always been a wonderful thing anyway. The drupa award in particular is a very special honor, because it shows that print, combined with digitality, has a very important justification.
With this award, I would like to expressly thank my team and dedicate it to the entire MyPostcard crew. An award is always a team effort. You can’t win an award if the organization isn’t in place. When the team sticks together, all the cogs mesh and are well coordinated, then that makes a decisive contribution to success and will be seen – I have always firmly believed in this and this belief has paid off so far.
7. The main topics at drupa 2024 are digitization and sustainability. What do you associate with these terms and how important are they for MyPostcard?
It goes without saying that sustainability is a very important issue for the printing industry. We have been focusing for years on how we can save resources and materials and all in all, how we can work more efficiently in terms of sustainability. Ralph Dittmann summed it up very well at the Druck&Medien Award Gala. Contrary to many opinions, the printing industry has a pioneering role. Many companies, including ourselves, are keen to use certified raw materials or to pay attention to the climate-neutral production of printing presses.
Reducing CO2 emissions or avoiding them as far as possible is a priority for us in our day-to-day business. Of course, it does not work completely without them. However, we only print what has actually been ordered. This means that everything is on-demand, so that there are no disposable products left over.
Thank you, Mr. Kray for this interesting interview and the insights into your business.
We are very eager to see how the MyPostcard team will continue to address the issue of sustainability in the printing industry and are looking forward to the future of the service.
Copyright header picture: Karime Benzakour Knidel