Holmes Report 14 Apr 2014 // 11:01PM GMT
LONDON—The UK’s Post Office has named eight PR firms to its new roster, as it aims to step up commercial activity following the privatization of Royal Mail, its biggest customer.
The development follows a search for agencies to support the Post Office's growth plans across travel, financial services and telephony. 120 agencies bid for the tender.
Post Office Limited, which was split from the Royal Mail group in 2012, previously handled its PR activities via the Royal Mail roster. Three of those firms — Lansons, Eulogy and Citigate — are retained, to work alongside Salt, Third City, Unity, Citypress and Cohn & Wolfe.
The agencies will work across all sectors including brand awareness, corporation reputation, financial services, travel, telephony and mail. While the tender specifies a range of £100k to £1m for each of the three separate assignments, it is understood that fees will trend towards the lower end of this scale, running across a four-year term.
“We are delighted to be working with such ambitious and creative agencies at an exciting time for the Post Office, as we transform our branches and develop the multi-channel strategy that will secure the future of our business," said Post Office head of PR Nina Arnott.
The Post Office has more than 11,500 branches throughout the UK and over 170 products and services, turning over £1bn a year and attracting more than 18m people a week.
Recent years have seen the organization ramp up its consumer focus. It is launching a current account, joining a financial services offering that already includes foreign exchange, credit cards and insurance. The Post Office also sells broadband and phone products.
“We’ve chosen agencies which will provide us with a wide range of recent big brand experience within our markets and which also understand the unique social role the Post Office plays in the heart of our communities," added Arnott.
“Most importantly, we wanted to work with people who take pride in being the best at what they do and are passionate about telling our story.”
The controversial privatization of Royal Mail last month triggered considerable opposition from postal workers. The Post Office has a 10-year agreement to act as the 'front office' for Royal Mail, worth millions of pounds a year.
However, the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters believes the sell-off will jeopardise the country's postal network. Both Royal Mail and Post Office reject the charge, noting that they are committed to sustaining the branch network.
The UK government, meanwhile, is investing £1.3bn in the Post Office by 2015, in a bid to modernise the network.